Three suspects charged in wild car chase, fiery crash in Van Buren County

Posted at 8:18 PM, Aug 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-09 21:58:42-04

PAW PAW, Mich. — Three suspects learned the fate of their actions for leading deputies on a wild, high-speed car chase through Van Buren County Monday night and trying to run away from the scene afterwards.

“Very dangerous pursuit,” said Lt. David Walker during an interview at the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office. “The highest speed rates was in the mid-80s but majority of the time the pursuit was around 50-60 miles an hour. But clearly the vehicle was attempting to evade officers.”

Lt. Walker said it all started when a patrol deputy tried to pull over a unregistered car. However the car failed to stop and instead sped away. A car chase ensued for the next 20-30 minutes on various county roads.

“The occupants of the vehicle started throwing out what was believed to be drug paraphernalia and or drugs in itself,” said Lt. Walker. “Also they started throwing out tools and so forth which struck our patrol cars and caused damage.”

The chase ended in Arlington Township when Pokagon Tribal Police deployed stops sticks, Lt. Walker said. As soon as the car hit them, they veered off road and hit a tree ‘“forcefully.” The car bursted into flames.

“The driver after the collision jumped out the vehicle immediately and took off running into a heavily wooded area that was about 5-foot deep of water,” said Lt. Walker. “The other two occupants of the vehicle got out of the same, and attempted to flee, but were immediately apprehended.”

Thirty minutes later, Walker said the last suspect was arrested. Tuesday at the Van Buren County Courthouse, the driver Oliver Woods and passengers Tiffany Hansen and Ryan Grady were arraigned on several felonies, including assaulting a police officer.

“All these people had multiple warrants for their arrest but nothing to the point where it should've related them to driving and acting in such a careless and negligent manner,” said Lt. Walker. “They put the public in harm’s way and they put themselves in harm’s way.”