Wild police chase: car goes airborne and crashes into a utility pole and a tree

INGHAM COUNTY, Mich. (WXYZ) - How did a routine traffic stop, turn into a woman crashing her four-door sedan into a utility pole and a tree at 90 miles per hour?

The accident happened Tuesday afternoon.

“It was the craziest thing I've ever seen," said Lawrence Zeineh.

Zeineh was working at the E-Z MART on the corner in Delhi Township near Lansing when the woman's car went flying through the air and crashed. 

“I saw the cop first, then I heard the sound," said Zeineh.  

He was walking to the door for his smoke break when he saw the woman's car drive through a second red light and go airborne.  The snow exploded around the vehicle as she crashed.

“Then I heard the sound of something hitting, and I look and it's a car, flying next to me.  Literally flying," said Zeineh.

The 44-year-old woman from Lansing drove so fast, she sheared the bottom of the light pole.  The other half of the pole dangled from the electric wires.  The vehicle landed about a football field away from where the driver lost control.

“When it hit, it just started flipping.  That's exactly what happened.  And, it landed behind the building," said Zeineh.

The wild chase started about a mile away.  An Ingham County sheriff's deputy was sitting at a red light for several seconds, when the woman's car sped through the red light at 45-50 miles an hour.  The Ingham County Sheriff's Department tells 7 Action News the deputy thought the driver may have committed a crime and gave chase.  At one point, it appears the driver is going to stop--but then takes off again.  The chase lasted about two minutes.

Zeineh took cell phone video after the accident.  You can see all of the woman's windows are blown out and the car smashed in on all sides. 

The woman suffered severe injuries and was taken to the hospital.  It's amazing the driver didn't kill herself or anyone else, especially when you see how close she came to slamming into a white van and another car.  The sheriff's department has a chase policy.  Major Joel Maatman tells 7 Action News that all procedures were followed correctly.

“Review the videos.  Talk with the deputy, we read the reports, to make sure guidelines were followed and we believe that they were in this instance," said Major Maatman with the Ingham County Sheriff’s Department.

Major Maatman said they still do not know why the driver ran the red light or from the deputy.  The woman is still recovering from her injuries so the sheriff's department has not been able to talk with her. They are seeking felony warrants against her for fleeing and eluding.

Major Maatman tells us the deputy on scene was close enough to render first aid and could not smell any alcohol on the driver’s breath.  Right now alcohol and drugs do not appear to be factors in the crash, but the sheriff’s department still has to subpoena the hospital’s records.

 

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