BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. — A driver nearly hit a police car, fled the scene, led police on a chase and hit several vehicles and a tree before taking a trip to the hospital Saturday morning.
At 2:06 a.m. Saturday, Berrien County Sheriff's Office deputies were inside their patrol vehicle and were involved in a traffic stop on M-139 near East Empire Avenue in Benton Township when a car approached from behind, slammed on the brakes, screeched to a halt and almost struck the police cruiser, which was parked and had its emergency lights flashing.
The deputies exited the police car and told the driver to stop. The driver then drove away and fled. The deputies attempted to stop the vehicle but the driver refused to stop before running a red light at the intersection of Main and Pine streets, losing control on Pine, striking several parked vehicles in a driveway in the 200 block of Pine and then hitting a tree there.
It took both the deputies and Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety officers to extricate the suspect from the vehicle. The driver was later identified as a 40-year-old man from Benton Harbor. He was transported by Medic 1 ambulance to Spectrum Lakeland Health in St. Joseph, where no condition report was available later Saturday.
The Michigan State Police and Benton Township Police Department also assisted with the incident.
Deputies said alcohol appeared to be a factor in the incident, which remains under investigation by the Berrien County Sheriff's Office.