State Police: One dead in stolen police vehicle chase in La Porte County

LA PORTE COUNTY, Ind. - One person is dead following a chase involving a stolen police vehicle in La Porte County Thursday morning, Indiana State Police reported.

Late Wednesday night, Westville Police pulled over 21-year-old Melissa Collins of Lafayette on U.S. 421. Instead of stopping, Collins drove from police, initiating a chase. 

Eventually, police stopped chasing Collins in the interest of safety. Minutes later, La Porte County deputies were called to a crash on U.S. 421 involving Collins. 

There, Collins was handcuffed and secured in the front seat of a La Porte County Sheriff's Office vehicle but managed to manipulate the cuffs, change seats and drive the vehicle from the scene. Police followed but lost sight of her.

In the area of 2100 S. and 875 W., officers found debris in the road. This led to the discovery of the vehicle submerged in water in a ditch. Police determined the vehicle crashed into the ditch. 

Collins was pronounced dead inside the vehicle.

An autopsy will be done by the La Porte County Coroner.

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