Police chase ends when teen fatally crashes into church where her boyfriend died days before

A 19-year-old woman died in a car crash Sunday after fleeing police and hitting the Riverside Baptist Church in Saint Clair County, Alabama, reported.

Jennefer L. Arellano-Maldonado was the girlfriend of a young man who died in a fiery crash into the same church only days before her wreck. Anthony Banks Jr., 19, died early Thursday when he appeared to lose control of his vehicle and hit the church just before 1:30 a.m., reported. Arellano-Maldonado’s wreck happened at 12:53 a.m. Sunday as she was trying to elude a Riverside police officer, Senior Trooper Brandon Bailey said.

She was driving a 2019 BMW X5, which left the road, hit a brick wall and burst into flames. She was not wearing a seatbelt and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Banks’ crash last Thursday caused a fire that is believed to have begun in the church basement and spread rapidly, according to Riverside Fire and Rescue and Pell City Fire Department, which quickly responded to the scene.

At approximately 1:28 am (June 20th) Riverside Fire Department was dispatched to 925 Depot Street, Riverside Baptist...

Posted by Riverside Fire & Rescue Service on Thursday, June 20, 2024

Arellano-Maldonado also crashed into the charred church.

The Riverside police chief confirmed the pair had been in a relationship with each other. The BMW that Arellano-Maldonado drove had been reported stolen, police said.

An investigation is ongoing by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.

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