Some verbs just aren't intransitive
This morning I spotted this local news item
Driver crashes, kills fleeing policeThe salient bits of the article are:
Baltimore County Police say Aaron McCoy, 20, of the 4000 block of Cedardale Rd. in Baltimore, was driving a Honda Accord while he was trying to flee police.So he didn't actually kill any police, fleeing or otherwise.
Five minutes later, at Dulaney Valley Rd. and Ivy Church Rd., police say McCoy crashed into the two other vehicles.
He was transported to Shock Trauma, where he died.
Parallelism is all well and good, but especially in headlinese you can't say "driver kills" without providing a direct object. Even moving "fleeing police" away from the DO slot (fleeing police, driver crashes, kills) doesn't work (and please note you need that comma! "Fleeing police driver crashes, kills" is all other kinds of bad.).
In fact, even if you convert "kills" into the participle, if you write this in headline syntax (as they have now changed the headline to read) you get a bad reading:
Driver crashes, killed fleeing policeThe whole point is, he didn't kill any police, fleeing or otherwise; in fact, he didn't kill anyone, except himself.
Why the heck not "dies fleeing police"? Fev?