NEW HAVEN – What started as a report of a possible drunken driver turned into a two-county chase that reached speeds of close to 100 mph and ended with a car off the road near a cornfield.
Two men in the car were eventually arrested after being on the run in eastern Allen County.
The chase started shortly after 2 p.m. Thursday in DeKalb County and ended when the car, which police said was stolen, crashed at Ryan and Edgerton roads east of New Haven.
Police had already called off the pursuit before the crash was reported, and both men were nowhere to be found when police arrived at the car, said Jeremy Tinkel, spokesman for the Allen County Sheriff’s Department.
Officers and police dogs from several area police departments – including DeKalb and Allen counties, New Haven and Indiana State Police – scoured the fields and woods near the crash as they looked for the men. Police asked the public to stay away from the area during the search.
Meanwhile, other officers searched the car and found a handgun. Tinkel said he could not give further information on what police found in the car.
Shortly thereafter, police found Tyler R. Morris, 25, of Ossian, who they said was the driver, lying in an adjacent cornfield.
He was jailed on preliminary charges of resisting law enforcement with a vehicle, receiving stolen property, carrying a handgun without a license, synthetic drug possession, paraphernalia possession and reckless driving, according to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department.
Police continued their search of the area and eventually found the car’s passenger, Lewis F. Park, 30, of the 8000 block of Marston Drive in Fort Wayne.
He was arrested on warrants out of DeKalb County for failure to appear in court on original charges of paraphernalia possession and battery resulting in bodily injury.
Police first tried to stop the white Pontiac Grand Prix near Auburn when they were told about a possible drunken driver.
Instead, Morris sped away and led police on a chase through Spencerville and Harlan that reached speeds of nearly 100 mph before he crashed, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department said.
During the search of the surrounding area, officers also checked cars that drove down Edgerton Road in the area where the remaining suspect was thought to be hiding.
Although cars could make it through the search area, several semis were not able to make it through on Ryan Road, including one driver who said he’d been there two hours.