DETROIT (WWJ) – One man is dead and a 17-year-old is in custody after a high-speed police chase in a stolen vehicle ended in a rollover crash on I-75, according to police.
Hazel Park Police Chief Martin Barner said the situation unfolded around 1:45 a.m. Thursday when officers on patrol in the area of 9 Mile and John R roads noticed two vehicles — a silver Chevrolet Impala and red Jeep Cherokee — casing the streets suspiciously.
“We’ve had a recent rash of stolen vehicles,” Barner told WWJ’s Mike Campbell. “That 2000 Jeep Cherokee came back as a stolen vehicle out of Madison Heights.”
Officers followed the vehicles and attempted to perform a traffic stop, at which time both vehicles took off at a high rate of speed.
The driver of the Impala was able to elude police, who continued to stay hot on the Jeep’s tail. The pursuit eventually ended up on southbound I-75 in northern Detroit.
“The vehicle was driving very erratically and reached speeds of approximately 100 miles per hour,” Barner said. “At that time, the vehicle attempted to exit the 7 Mile ramp, where it didn’t quite make the maneuver it wanted to.”
The driver lost control of the wheel, police said, and the Jeep flipped upside down on its roof near the end of the 7 Mile Road exit ramp and the service drive. The driver was ejected from the vehicle and transported to St. John’s Hospital, where he died. Police said the driver, who appears to be in his 20s, has not yet been identified.
Two passengers who were also in the Jeep fled the scene on foot after the crash, police said. A 17-year-old boy was taken into custody after officers found him hiding in an abandoned house at Cardoni and Emery streets, but police say he is not cooperating with investigators. The second passenger got away.
The incident remains under investigation. Police are still trying to locate the driver of the Impala and at least one other passenger inside that vehicle, but were not able to provide detailed descriptions.
Multiple lanes and the 7 Mile Road exit ramp were closed for several hours as police were investigating the crash, but have since reopened.