Police: 2-year-old ejected after van slams into church following chase

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Two adults and a toddler were hospitalized Thursday after a van crashed into a church on Tyvola Road.

The Highway Patrol said the van had expired tags and a trooper tried to pull the driver over, but he kept going.

The chase ended at University Memorial Baptist Church when the driver, David Sheppard, crashed through the church’s sign and slammed into the front steps, officials said.

A passenger and a 2-year-old child were thrown from the car.

All three were taken to an area hospital with serious injuries.

The church’s pastor said this wasn't the first time a car has damaged the church.

“We’re just devastated.  We were looking forward to homecoming this weekend, and this is not the first accident we’ve had at the church.  We’re preparing for a great day Sunday and this happened,” said pastor James Palmer.

Sheppard faces multiple charges, including felony child abuse. Troopers said alcohol was not a factor.