Update: Search drags on for chase suspect in Ohio River


Update (4:18 p.m.)

VANDERBURGH COUNTY, Ind. (WEHT) – An overnight chase in Vanderburgh County turned into a search and rescue operation in the Ohio River.

Authorities are still on the scene now searching the waters after the driver of a truck started swimming to get away from the cops.

Search and rescue teams began searching the waters after authorities say a driver started swimming in the river around 2 a.m.

Fourteen hours later, water teams are still looking for any sign of the driver and anything else that may aid authorities with their investigation.

As of right now, authorities say the identity of the driver is unknown and they say they do not have a suspect in mind.

Here’s what we do know:

Around 1:00 a.m., Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s deputies responded to reports of a stolen vehicle from Jerry David Enterprises in Evansville.

Authorities say the driver of the vehicle then headed to Burdette Park where park officials say the driver hit a picnic table.

Less than an hour later deputies spotted the vehicle traveling east on the Lloyd Expressway and engaged in a chase – traveling down Old Henderson Road before the chase came to a crashing halt on the banks of the Ohio.

“The person was driving at a high rate of speed, southbound on old Henderson Road, which is a very rural part of Vanderburgh County and also parallels the river. As this guy was driving, at a high rate of speed he abruptly turned towards the river and he went through a field and basically drove the truck into the Ohio River.”

Deputies on scene today say the suspect abandoned the truck after crashing it and entered the water.

Police say the suspect was last seen swimming in the river about 200 yards from the riverbank.

We will continue to follow this story.

Original Story

Evansville, IN (WEHT) — Authorities are searching for a suspect in the Ohio River that led police on a chase in a stolen vehicle on the west side of Evansville.

The Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office said a report of a stolen vehicle came in just before 1:00 a.m. Friday.

Less than an hour later, deputies saw the vehicle on the road which began a chase. Eventually, deputies said the suspect drove a truck into the Ohio River along Old Henderson Road, got out, and started swimming around 1:50 a.m.

Authorities quickly lost a visual after the suspect swam around 200 yards into the river. Water crews from both Vanderburgh and Henderson Counties were called in.

The search began to be scaled back on the water around 4:30 a.m. At one point, several boats were in the water and a drone was used overhead.

Around that same time, a tow truck successfully pulled the suspect’s truck out of the river.

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(This story was originally published on Sept. 6, 2019)

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