Stolen U-haul Driver Dead After Pursuit Into Little Calumet River

In the early hours of February 21, 2024, at approximately 4:10 AM, Hammond Police Department officers received an alert from the city’s license plate reader system, “Blue Net,” indicating the presence of a stolen U-Haul vehicle within the city limits, according to Lt. Steve Kellogg.

Responding swiftly to the alert, officers were patrolling the vicinity near 136th and Sheffield when they identified a vehicle matching the description of the stolen U-Haul. Attempting to curb the vehicle, officers engaged their emergency lights and sirens. However, the suspect failed to comply and instead fled the scene.

The pursuit continued as the U-Haul, traveling at approximately 30 mph, led officers through the area of 130th and Indiana in Chicago. Tragically, as the U-Haul approached a curve in the road, it failed to negotiate the turn and went over the edge, landing in the Little Calumet River. A Hammond Police car also went down the embankment and hit a rock but managed to only have the bumper in the river.

The driver hastily exited the U-Haul and attempted to evade capture by swimming away. Hammond police officers entered the river for a rescue attempt, but unfortunately, they were unable to locate the suspect after he submerged.

The Chicago Fire Department was immediately summoned to the scene and successfully recovered the body of the male suspect from the river. As of now, the identity of the deceased individual remains unknown.

A female passenger was initially present in the U-Haul at the beginning of the pursuit. However, she jumped from the vehicle during the chase. The Hammond Police Department recovered the female, who is currently being questioned. Notably, she has active warrants for her arrest related to possession of cocaine.

Lt. Kellogg of the Hammond Police Department commented on the incident, stating, “Law enforcement engaged in a pursuit that concluded with the suspect fleeing into the Little Calumet River. Our officers worked tirelessly, but unfortunately, the outcome was tragic.”

No Hammond police officers were injured during the course of events. The Hammond Police Department is actively cooperating with the appropriate authorities as the investigation into this incident unfolds.

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