Driver identified as 15-year-old Niles girlPublished 2:05pm Monday, September 10, 2012
A fatal crash Sunday morning on Yankee Street resulted in the death of a 15-year-old Niles girl named Jazmyne Rodriquez.
At approximately 8:15 a.m. Sunday, the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department and Niles Township Patrol investigated a stolen vehicle complaint in the 1800 block of Sycamore Street. Area agencies were notified of the theft and given a description of the vehicle.
Approximately 15 minutes later, a Niles City police officer spotted the described vehicle near Miller and Margaret streets. As the vehicle turned north onto Spansail Drive, the officer confirmed it was the stolen truck and attempted to stop Rodriquez. Instead of stopping, she continued northbound, turning east onto Yankee Street and accelerating in an attempt to flee.
A Michigan State Police officer prepared to lay stop sticks on Yankee Street when the truck, traveling at an approximate speed of 85 miles per hour, veered to the left across the westbound traffic lane and struck a tree. The vehicle then rolled and stopped on its side about 40 yards away.
Rodriquez was pronounced dead at the scene and no other passengers were in the truck. Michigan State Police Post 53 has been assigned the investigation since the crash happened in Cass County. The Michigan State Police Post 53, in Niles, the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department, the Cass County Sheriff’s Department, Howard Township Fire Department and Southwestern Michigan Community Ambulance Service, assisted the Niles Police Department.