Driver flees Oakland deputies, crashes SUV into lake

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A driver who twice tried to flee Oakland County Sheriff’s deputies Wednesday ended up plunging his SUV into a lake instead, investigators said.

Still from dash cam footage of deputies pursuing a 55-year-old driver who tried to flee them on Wednesday morning but ended up plunging into White Lake.

The man was traveling on White Lake Road near Andersonville in Independence Township about 10:44 a.m. when a deputy tried to stop his 2006 Chevrolet TrailBlazer “for dangerous and reckless driving,” officials said in a statement.

The 55-year-old motorist sped off “and at one point locked up the brakes on the vehicle,” which caused the deputy to strike the Chevy’s rear.

Later in the pursuit, the driver tried the scheme again but the deputy was able to avoid another collision, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The chase was terminated at 10:48 a.m. on M-59 in White Lake Township, but another officer spotted the wayward driver after he pulled into a gas station parking lot in the 1200 block of Highland Road.

Sheriff’s deputies from the Highland Township substation chased him within minutes, but the man “again locked up the brakes on his vehicle causing the deputy to impact his vehicle and he then fled northbound on Duck Lake Road,” officials said.

Dash cam footage sheriff’s officials released showed the SUV running off the road north of Wardlow, hitting rowboats then splashing into White Lake.

No deputies or civilians were injured. Highland Township fire officials had to extricate the driver, who was unresponsive, authorities said.

EMS personnel transported him to Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital in Commerce Township, where the man was under police guard and listed in stable condition Wednesday.

Authorities said the suspect, identified only as an Independence Township resident, might have been under the influence of drugs. A search warrant was obtained to test his blood.