LAINGSBURG — A police chase that started in downtown Laingsburg ended in a high-speed collision between the fleeing suspect and a DeWitt Township police officer Wednesday morning in Clinton County.
According to Laingsburg Police Chief Dan DeKorte, the chase started when he was driving on Grand River in Laingsburg and he saw a 33-year-old female Laingsburg resident driving a 2005 Dodge Caravan. DeKorte said he knew based on a prior contact in December that the woman was being sought on a warrant from 54B District Court in East Lansing for a probation violation involving dangerous drugs.
“A traffic stop was initiated at the Marathon gas station in downtown Laingsburg. I advised her she had a warrant and she was making arrangements to leave her car parked at the gas station. While waiting for confirmation on the warrant, she took off,” DeKorte said.
The woman drove west on Grand River in Laingsburg, which turns into Round Lake Road and continued on Round Lake before turning onto Chadwick Road and then north on Williams Road near DeWitt. From Williams, she made a left onto Jason Road heading west again.
By that time, DeKorte said, he had contacted Clinton County law enforcement for assistance.
“Two DeWitt Township police officers deployed their stop sticks on Jason Road. She tried to avoid those, however, the sticks were able to puncture her tires,” DeKorte said. “She continued westbound on Jason Road with punctured tires and at that time a third DeWitt Township police officer had just pulled onto Jason Road From Old 27,” DeKorte said.
DeKorte said the third DeWitt officer was stopped when the fleeing driver struck the patrol car while traveling an estimated 60 mph.
“It appeared to me she intentionally crossed the center line and hit his vehicle head-on,” DeKorte said.
The Dewitt Township officer was trapped in his car, which caught fire, and other responding officers had to pull him from the car.
DeKorte said the officer wasn’t trapped long because of the nearby first responders.
Dewitt Area Fire had to use hydraulic extrication equipment to remove the suspect from her vehicle, a minivan, which took roughly 20 minutes.
DeKorte was not able to confirm injuries to the two people, but said both were transported to Sparrow Health System in Lansing with non-life threatening, but serious injuries. The officer’s injuries required surgery.
The suspect has not been arraigned yet and has not been identified.
DeKorte said he expects his department to seek felony charges for fleeing and eluding. He said he also expects the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office to pursue felony charges of fleeing and eluding — causing injury, which could be upgraded if it is determined that she intentionally struck the officer’s vehicle.