Suspect dies in crash after escaping custody, stealing LaPorte County police car – WNDU

LAPORTE COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) – A woman is dead after police say she escaped custody, stole a LaPorte County police car, and crashed it into a water-filled ditch.
According to the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office, it all started with a multi-county chase sometime late Wednesday night. That’s when a Westville Police Department officer tried to pull over a vehicle on US-421, but the driver didn’t stop.
The driver led police south on US-421 before going west on US-30 into Porter County. The chase eventually moved back to LaPorte County, where officers decided to stop pursuing the vehicle for safety reasons.
A few minutes later, police were called to a crash in the 14000 block of S. US-421. The crashed vehicle turned out to be the same vehicle police had been chasing earlier.
The driver of the vehicle, identified as 21-year-old Melissa Collins of Lafayette, was handcuffed and secured in the front passenger seat of a 2021 Ford Explorer police car assigned to LaPorte County Deputy David Grimberg.
According to Indiana State Police, Collins was able to manipulate the handcuffs, unbuckle her seatbelt, take control of the police car, and drive away from the scene in the stolen vehicle. Officers attempted to catch up to the stolen police car but lost sight of it.
While they were looking for the stolen police car, they came upon debris in the road in the area of 2100 South and 875 West. A short time later, they found the stolen vehicle submerged in water in a ditch.
Collins was found inside the vehicle and later pronounced dead.
Police believe the vehicle crashed after crossing a set of railroad tracks at an extremely high rate of speed.
ISP is handling the investigation.
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