On television, chase scenes are often the most exhilarating parts of cop shows. The dynamic camera angles focus on how intense the officer and the driver are as the former tries to escape while the latter devises a strategy to catch them. Once the chase is over and one side wins, they simply cut to the next part of the plot.
What these shows fail to show is the amount of destruction these chases can potentially cause. While most chase scenes often take place in large cities with stunt drivers to avoid too much destruction, a lot of police chases in Indiana occur within neighborhoods. Many drivers escaping the cops do not want traffic holding them back and want open roads to make it more unpredictable. Unfortunately, this still puts plenty of residents at risk, which can is evidenced by a recent incident in Hammond.
A messy miscalculation
On the evening of Wednesday, February 6, a Hammond police officer identified a 25-year-old man at a gas station. This man had fled the police before and had an active arrest warrant on him, so he quickly fled once the cop approached his vehicle. He sped into a neighborhood as he was pursued by the police and drove his car across several front longs before eventually crashing on the corner of a house that ejected him out of the vehicle and killed him.
In the process, the driver broke down a fence, smashed a front porch, rear-ended a parked car in a neighborhood, nearly took down a tree and left tire tracks along many front laws in addition to his own debris. Had he crashed into the house a few feet to the right, he would have potentially crashed through the window and hit someone who was standing there at the time.
Responding to the chaos
Police chases are essentially even worse hit-and-run incidents. This story demonstrates the absolute worst that can happen in these scenarios. The driver hit cars, ruined property and nearly killed someone. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there is an average of 355 people killed annually from police pursuit incidents. It heavily varies whether the victim ends up being the criminal, the police officer or some innocent bystander.
The silver lining to police chases is that determining liability for damage is slightly easier than hit-and-run cases. Property damage typically comes from either the fleeing criminal or the police officer, and there is a better chance you will catch one of these two sooner than someone who scratched your bumper in a parking lot. While there has been controversy regarding the police’s decision to pursue the criminal, the amount of chases per year do not look to be slowing down any time soon. You need to make sure you have the right legal team on hand in case you or a loved one are hurt during these intense face offs.