Coroner’s office releases cause of death for driver killed in Harlan Ave. crash

Driver killed during chase identified
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 11:26 AM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Authorities in Evansville say a driver that took off from an attempted traffic stop near Stockwell Road, died after crashing.

Officials have identified her as 26-year-old Nicole Bell.

Officials say it all started around 11:17 a.m. Thursday, and ended with the crash at Harlan Avenue and Division Street.

Evansville Vanderburgh County Joint Drug Task Force deputies say they tried to stop a driver with expired plates.

Deputies say Bell also had a suspended driver’s license and two active misdemeanor warrants for their arrest. They say she kept going after seeing deputies, instead of pulling over.

They say speeds reached 100 mph.

Deputies chased Bell off the Lloyd Expressway and onto Division Street and Harlan Avenue, which is where officials say Bell crashed and died on scene.

The Vanderburgh County Coroner’s Office says Bell’s cause of death was multiple blunt force trauma to the head and chest from the impact of the crash.

A few of the people that 14 News spoke with who worked in local businesses off Division Street say they not only heard the Acura crash, but they felt it in their building.

Click here for the full sheriff’s office report.

Friday morning, Vanderburgh County Sheriff Noah Robinson held a press conference, explaining why she was being chased in the first place.

“We don’t begin a pursuit, or allow a pursuit to continue unless several factors are met,” says Robinson. “Those factors include, but are not limited to: the risk to the public, the length of the pursuit, the speeds involved, weather conditions, and traffic and pedestrians that are present in the area.”

He says factors were met to start a chase, and it ended before a decision could be make to stop it.

He also says fentanyl was found in Bell’s hand.

The Sheriff released body camera footage from the incident. A warning - it could be disturbing for viewers:

Sheriff releases body camera footage in deadly chase and crash

An autopsy is scheduled for Sunday.

Here is that full news conference from Friday. The first few seconds are not in the recording:

News conference: Sheriff gives Friday update on deadly chase and crash

Click here for the photos and maps shown during the news conference.

Here is coverage from Thursday:

Driver killed after chase ends in crash in Evansville