A 27-year-old man involved in a police chase was charged with murder yesterday after the passenger in the car he was driving died of injuries received when the car crashed into a tree, Fairfax County police reported.

Jimmy Dean Boyd, of no fixed address, also was charged with felony hit and run, reckless driving-speed to elude and operating a vehicle after being declared a habitual offender. A habitual offender is defined by Virginia law as someone who has committed repeated driving infractions.

William E. Broyhill, 62, of the 10000 block of Hampton Road in Fairfax Station, was pronounced dead Monday at Fairfax Hospital. He died of massive head and neck injuries from the crash, which occurred about 10 a.m. Sunday in the Lorton area, police said.

Boyd "has been charged with murder because William Broyhill, the passenger in the car, died yesterday," said police spokesman Bill Coulter. "Once declared a habitual offender, if you drive, it's a felony. Thus he is charged with murder. He wasn't supposed to be driving."

According to Virginia law, if a death is a result of a felony, the person committing the felony can be charged with murder. A murder charge as a result of a car crash is rare in the county, officials said.

"I don't recall us having been involved in a similar case . . . where we have made a charge in conjunction with a habitual offender and I've been doing this 12 years," said police spokesman Warren Carmichael. "As far as making manslaughter charges in vehicular crashes, that we do with some regularity if alcohol is involved."

The chase, which lasted several blocks, began when a police officer spotted a 1980 Toyota station wagon on Route 123 near Lorton Road and noticed that the car's registration was improper, police spokesman Peter Fakoury said.

When the officer tried to stop the car, the driver sped through a stop sign on Lorton Road, police said. The car ran off the right side of the road, slamming its passenger side into a tree. Police said the driver got out and started running.

Police said the chase never reached high speeds.

Boyd was arrested near Broyhill's home, police said. He was being held last night at Fairfax jail in lieu of $72,500 bond.