Short police chase leads to fatal crash on east side

One person was killed in a fiery crash following a pursuit on the east side of Indianapolis. (WTHR/Frank Young)
Short Chase Ends in Deadly Crash
1 dead in east side pursuit, crash

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — A crash at the end of a police pursuit resulted in a driver's death on the east side of Indianapolis early Thursday.

An officer noticed a black Chevrolet driving erratically on North Sherman Drive shortly after midnight Wednesday. The officer observed the driver of the car driving very fast, failing to signal as they went around other cars, then ran a red light at East 21st Street, driving into incoming traffic to turn westbound on East 21st Street.

The officer activated his emergency lights to try to stop the car due to the reckless endangerment of others in the area, but the driver did not slow down.

Police say the pursuit lasted less than a minute on East 21st Street before the suspect vehicle struck a utility pole west of North Dearborn Street. An officer tried to approach the vehicle, but was kept back by downed, live power lines.

The vehicle then became engulfed in flames. Police believe the driver was the only occupant of the vehicle. That person died in the crash.

As officers investigated, live rounds inside the vehicle ignited and started firing, sending emergency personnel heading for cover behind their cars. Police believe the fire in the vehicle caused the bullets to go off.

It was the second time in a matter of hours that a pursuit ended in a fatal crash. Wednesday evening, a suspect crashed on West Michigan Street west of Holt Road. One person was killed in that crash, and two others were taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries.