State Police: Man carjacks auto with 2 kids inside

October 1, 2011 3:58:29 PM PDT
State police say a New Jersey man carjacked a vehicle with two children inside, then later abandoned it and stole a sport utility vehicle before leading officers on a high-speed chase through several counties.

Charges were pending Saturday against 20-year-old Justin Mercer of Princeton, who was injured when the SUV crashed on Interstate 280 in West Orange late Saturday morning.

The incident began on Interstate 80 in Warren County, when the children's mother stopped to help Mercer, who had been involved in an auto accident. Authorities say he took the woman's Lexus, but soon dropped the children off unharmed at a Hackettstown bank before allegedly stealing the SUV.

Details on Mercer's injuries were not disclosed, and it wasn't known if he had retained a lawyer.