Photo courtesy of the Indiana State Police
Staff report written from press release
Indianapolis, Indiana – September 27, 2023
A serious crash claimed multiple lives, minutes after law enforcement terminated a vehicle pursuit involving the driver responsible for the incident. The crash occurred near 10th Street and Mitthoeffer Road in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Around 9:37 p.m., an Indiana State Trooper initiated a traffic stop on a Dodge Challenger for reckless driving near East Washington Street and Mitthoeffer Road. The driver, however, refused to comply, leading to a pursuit that spanned approximately 12 minutes. The chase weaved through several city streets before venturing into rural Hancock County. Multiple law enforcement units, including Indiana State Police and other agencies, attempted to position themselves to deploy stop sticks but were unable to do so.
At 9:50 p.m., troopers involved in the pursuit decided to terminate it, citing several factors, including the suspect’s aggressive and reckless driving. Furthermore, the suspect had reversed course, heading back toward Indianapolis from a sparsely populated rural area. Following the pursuit’s termination, all officers deactivated their emergency lights and sirens, disengaging and leaving the area opposite to the suspect vehicle’s direction.
However, at 9:55 p.m., Indiana State Police Dispatchers received a radio transmission from the Indianapolis Fire Department concerning a serious crash near Mitthoeffer Road and 10th Street. Considering the recent pursuit in the vicinity, troopers responded. On arrival, the first trooper reported discovering three critically injured, unresponsive individuals and two heavily damaged vehicles, one of which appeared to be the Dodge Challenger involved in the earlier pursuit.
Emergency personnel, working urgently, transported one critically injured adult female to a local hospital. Despite extensive life-saving efforts, she died from her injuries at the hospital. Inside the Dodge Challenger, three occupants remained trapped amid the wreckage. Two of these individuals were unresponsive to verbal communication. The Indianapolis Fire Department launched a rapid extrication operation, leading to the transport of two of the trapped occupants via ambulance. However, both were pronounced deceased at the hospital.
Ironically, the driver of the Dodge Challenger suffered only minor injuries.
Indiana State Police Crash Reconstructionists, accompanied by Detectives, arrived at the scene to initiate an investigation. Preliminary findings indicated that the Dodge Challenger’s driver had disregarded a red light at the intersection of 10th Street and Mitthoeffer Road while traveling at an exceptionally high speed. The collision resulted in the fatality of the female driver of the second vehicle, who was the sole occupant.
Authorities have established probable cause for the arrest of the Dodge Challenger’s driver, though his identity is being withheld pending notification of the deceased victims’ families. He now faces the preliminary charge of resisting law enforcement causing death, a Level 2 Felony.
The investigation remains ongoing, and no further details are available at this time. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The Indiana State Police received assistance from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Indianapolis Fire Department, Indianapolis Emergency Medical Service, Marion County Coroner’s Office, and the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office in managing this tragic incident.