Two 10-year-old Wisconsin boys were killed when their father sped away from a traffic stop, was chased and then crashed late Wednesday, the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department said.
Two other children and the driver, the boys’ father, were in critical condition, officials said.
A sheriff’s deputy pulled the driver over around 11:49 p.m. for speeding and having no plates, and the driver briefly stopped before he sped away, the sheriff’s department said.
There was a pursuit, and the vehicle crashed in a town around 11 miles away, the department said.
“This is a horrific traffic crash,” Waukesha County Sheriff Eric Severson said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the lost children.”
The sheriff’s department said the vehicle crashed on its own, without a collision with law enforcement.
Aerial video from NBC affiliate WTMJ of Milwaukee showed what appeared to be a sedan on its side.
“As we’ve reviewed this, it appears that the driver of the vehicle fled at such a high rate of speed that my deputies weren’t even in visual contact during the crash,” Severson said at a news conference.
Besides the two children who died, four other people were in the car — the driver and his girlfriend, both 29; a 6-year-old girl; and a 14-year-old girl, the sheriff’s department said.
All four were injured. The driver was in critical but stable condition at a hospital, the two children were in critical condition, and the other adult was stable, the sheriff’s department said.
The Wisconsin State Patrol will conduct the investigation into the traffic crash.
Severson emphasized the investigation was only a few hours old, but he said no apparent wrongdoing had been identified on the part of deputies.
“It appears that we have no evidence to believe that laws were violated on behalf of the sheriff’s deputies involved, or policies,” Severson said. “It looks like they did their job right.”
The sheriff’s office did not immediately publicly identify those killed and injured. The driver had an outstanding warrant for being a felon in possession of a firearm, Severson said.
The driver sped away during the traffic stop, and deputies did not have any contact with him, Severson said.
The chase began in Pewaukee, a city of around 15,000 near Milwaukee, and the crash happened in Delafield, which is around 11 miles to the west, the sheriff’s department said.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office will review the incident, which Severson said was being done to provide transparency.
“In addition, we’re going to be looking at the incident from a policy and procedural standpoint,” he said.
This story originally appeared on NBCNews.com.