Deputies: Suspect in earlier EPD chase crashes at Darmstadt and Mt. Pleasant

Deputies: Suspect in earlier EPD chase crashes at Darmstadt and Mt. Pleasant

VANDERBURGH CO., Ind. (WFIE) - Crews were called to an accident with injuries at Darmstadt Rd. and Mt. Pleasant.

The crash happened just after 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Deputies now tell us two vehicles were involved.

They say EPD had previously tried to pull over the driver of truck, who was later identified as Michael Johnson, for a traffic infraction near the intersection of Morgan Avenue and Oak Hill Road around 10:40 a.m., but he wouldn’t stop.

Deputies say that the chase was stopped, but they had a “be on the lookout” for the truck.

We’re told a sheriff’s deputy was searching for Johnson in the area of Darmstadt Road and Mohr Road when his patrol car was nearly struck by Johnson’s vehicle. By the time the deputy caught up to him, authorities say Johnson hit an SUV.

According to deputies, an investigation revealed that the collision happened as Johnson attempted to pass a northbound vehicle in the southbound lane of travel and struck an oncoming vehicle.

Deputies say the driver of the truck, Michael Johnson, and the driver and a passenger from the SUV were taken to the hospital. They say both drivers are in the ICU with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

Deputies say alcohol and illegal drugs are being considered factors in the crash, and criminal charges are likely for Johnson.

Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding said this is the perfect example of what a bill, going through the Indiana State House right now, would aim to help prevent.

It’s a bill that Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding has advocated for at the statehouse.

This bill, House Bill 1097, includes language that would enhance the punishment for “fleeing law enforcement” from a level 6 felony to a level 5.

The sheriff said that means longer time in prison.

“Here’s a classic case where many people could have been injured,” said Wedding. “If he had hit someone head on, based on his egregious actions, they would have been a very tragic event. What we’re trying to accomplish is to put more teeth in the law that punish people for putting people’s lives at risk.”

Here is a video from a brief live picture we had just before noon.

Crews called to crash at Darmstadt and Mt. Pleasant (brief live picture just before noon)

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