UPDATE-LaPorte County- The Indiana State Police Lowell Post has additional information to release regarding the fatal crash that our agency was requested to investigate in LaPorte County.
The Indiana State Police was requested to investigate a fatal crash that involved a LaPorte County police car. The investigation showed that a suspect had been handcuffed and secured in the front passenger seat of a 2021 Ford Explorer police car assigned to Deputy David Grimberg. It was determined that the suspect was able to manipulate the handcuffs, unbuckled the seatbelt, took possession of the police car, and drove away from the scene in the stolen vehicle. Officers at the scene attempted to catch up to the stolen police car but lost sight of the vehicle. As they were looking for the stolen police car, they came upon debris in the roadway in the area of 2100 S. and 875 W., and they located the stolen vehicle submerged in water in a ditch. Evidence at the scene indicated that the vehicle crashed after crossing a set of railroad tracks at an extremely high rate of speed. The driver was located inside the vehicle and was later pronounced deceased by the LaPorte County Coroner’s Office. Cause and manner of death will be determined through an autopsy by the LaPorte County Coroner. The deceased has been identified as Melissa L. Collins, 21, from Lafayette, IN. Family has been notified.
For further information regarding what led up to the initial pursuit and the interactions between the deceased and the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office, please contact Captain Derek Allen, Public Information Officer, for their agency.
In addition to information provided by Indiana State Police the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office also gave the following update:
FURTHER INFORMATION ON 2/1 FATAL CRASH
Late in the evening on January 31, a Westville Police Department Officer attempted stop a vehicle along US 421. The driver of the motor vehicle failed to yield, resulting in a motor vehicle pursuit. The pursuit continued southbound on US 421 and then west on US 30 into Porter County.
Prior to reaching State Road 49, the fleeing vehicle turned and began traveling back eastbound on US 30 and into La Porte County again. The vehicle turned southbound on US 421 where a decision was made to terminate the pursuit in the interest of safety.
Several minutes later, information was received regarding a crash along US 421. Deputy David Grimberg located the crash in the 14000 south block of US 421. The crashed vehicle was confirmed to be the same as that of the fleeing vehicle from several minutes earlier.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as Melissa L. COLLINS (21 YOA) of Lafayette, Indiana. COLLINS was taken into custody (handcuffed) at the scene.
For further information related to the circumstances that transpired thereafter, please refer to the updated release completed by the Indiana State Police.
Original news release from Indiana State Police is below.
ISP Investigating Fatal Crash in LaPorte County
LaPorte County- This morning, the Indiana State Police Lowell Post was contacted by LaPorte County Sheriff Ron Heeg to assist in investigating a crash that resulted in a fatality. This investigation involved a LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office vehicle. The identity of the deceased will be released tomorrow. Additional information about the facts of the crash, as well as information as to what led up to the crash may also be released by the Indiana State Police and the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office once all witnesses have been interviewed and the investigation concluded.