(2-8-20) St Joseph County- Last night a fleeing driver refused to stop for an Indiana State Trooper and ultimately crashed, killing one.
Around 7:24 p.m. on February 7, 2020 an Indiana State trooper saw a white Jeep Cherokee traveling eastbound US 20 Bypass at 99 miles per hour, near the Elkhart/St. Joseph County line. The trooper caught up to the Jeep and activated the lights and siren on his marked Indiana State Police car but the Jeep failed to stop. As the Jeep exited at SR 19 it was learned that the Jeep was stolen. The Jeep traveled north into Elkhart and several officers with the Elkhart City Police Department assisted. The Jeep led officers through southern and western Elkhart before ultimately heading westbound on Old US 20.
The Jeep continued westbound into St. Joseph County on McKinley Avenue, disregarding several stoplights. As the officers stopped at Home Street to let traffic clear the intersection, the Jeep continued westbound, disregarded the stoplight at Fir Road and collided with a green Toyota Camry that was traveling southbound on Fir Road. The crash happened at approximately 7:39 p.m.
The Jeep struck the Toyota in the driver side door, killing the driver. The lone passenger in the Toyota was transported to Memorial Hospital in South Bend with serious injuries. The driver of the Jeep, described as a black male wearing a dark jacket or sweatshirt and grey sweatpants, fled on foot. Three passengers in the Jeep were transported Memorial Hospital with minor injuries. A fourth passenger in the Jeep was detained and questioned.
Two Indiana State Police K9 units attempted to track the driver of the stolen Jeep but were unable to locate the driver. Anyone with information on the identity of the driver of the Jeep is asked to call the Indiana State Police at 574-546-4900.
The St. Joseph County Fact Team is conducting the crash reconstruction and will release the identity of the injured and deceased at a later time.