Fatal flee and elude
On 11-12-23 at approximately 0202 hours, officers with the Benton Township Police Department observed a vehicle traveling southbound on M-139 near Napier Ave. at a very high rate of speed. The vehicle swerved into the path of a Benton Twp patrol vehicle. Officers attempted to stop the vehicle but the vehicle fled. The suspect then fled westbound on I-94 from M-139. The officers in pursuit lost visual of the vehicle on westbound I-94 in Lincoln Township. A Deputy with the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office was responding on Lakeshore Rd. in an attempt to intercept the vehicle pursuit. The deputy spotted a vehicle matching the suspect vehicle description traveling Northbound on Lakeshore Dr. near Shoreham Dr. in Saint Joseph Township. The deputy was in a fully marked Berrien County Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicle. The deputy turned around and activated emergency lights and sirens in an attempt to stop the vehicle. The vehicle increased their speed and fled from the deputy. The pursuit continued northbound on Lakeshore Dr. into the City of Saint Joseph. The suspect vehicle lost control at approximately 0209 hours, left the roadway and crashed on Lakeshore Dr. just north of Hilltop Rd. The driver was the only occupant in the vehicle and was ejected during the traffic crash. The driver was pronounced deceased at the scene of the traffic crash. The deceased is 34 year old male from Benton Harbor. The identity of the driver isn’t being released at this time pending notification of next of kin.
This incident is being investigated by the Michigan State Police – Niles Post and the Michigan State Police Traffic Reconstruction Unit. The information collected will be forwarded to the Berrien County prosecutor for review. Further information may be released by the Michigan State Police at a later time.
Multiple agencies assisted the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office during this incident. Those agencies are the Michigan State Police, Benton Township Police Department, Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety, Saint Joseph Department of Public Safety, Saint Joseph Township Police Department, Lincoln Township Police Department, Medic 1 Ambulance and the Western Michigan Medical Examiner’s Office.