No charges filed against deputy following fatal crash

NILES — After an investigation into the fatal police pursuit that occurred in Niles in July, the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office said Monday that no charges against the involved deputy will be filed.

“This deputy was not criminally negligent, nor negligent at all, in the performance of his duties that July afternoon,” the release stated.

The incident occurred at 5:30 p.m. July 28, when the Niles dispatch center was notified to be on the lookout for an intoxicated man leaving Dale’s Mini Mart. The suspect, who was identified as David Bross, 24, of Three Oaks, was reported to have also caused a disturbance. 

Dispatch put out a description of the vehicle with some unique particulars.

A deputy on patrol and in a fully marked Berrien County Sheriff’s Department vehicle observed the described vehicle, which Bross was driving, in Niles stopped at a green light.  The deputy also saw the vehicle almost hit a curb upon its acceleration. The deputy then attempted a traffic stop using its overhead red and blue lights, believing the information provided and observed was sufficient to stop the driver, suspecting he was intoxicated. 

The suspect’s vehicle pulled into a parking lot, as if to stop having seen the overhead lights of the squad car, then abruptly left the parking lot and sped off.

According to the prosecutor’s office, Bross drove recklessly, reaching speeds of more than 100 miles per hour. He passed cars on Niles-Buchanan Road on the left and the right.

The deputy maintained a distance, but attempted to keep a view of the vehicle. Eventually, the deputy discovered that the vehicle Bross was driving had left the roadway and hit a tree.

The deputy and emergency personnel arriving at the scene had difficulty removing Bross from the vehicle. Bross was transported to a South Bend hospital where he died.

The Michigan State Police investigated the crash scene and determined that Bross left the roadway going 87 miles per hour. Autopsy results indicated that Bross’ death was a result of the crash. His blood alcohol level was .17.

The Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office stated that it is important to note that law enforcement has a responsibility to the public to keep the roadways safe.  When police officers suspect a driver is operating while intoxicated, they have a duty to the public to attempt to stop that individual. This reduces the risk to the public of such a driver causing a crash.

The prosecutor emphasized that no charges will result from this crash.

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