Elkhart man dies after striking tree during police chase

Published 9:50 am Sunday, October 22, 2023

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CASSOPOLIS — An Elkhart, Indiana man was killed when his vehicle crashed into a tree in Mason Township during a police chase early Sunday morning.

Cass County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched around midnight after being notified that Nappanee, Indiana Police were chasing a stolen vehicle from Elkhart County that led them into Cass County.

Nappanee Police terminated their pursuit when they lost sight of the stolen car. Shortly thereafter, a resident on Old 205 notified deputies that a vehicle had crashed into a tree.

When deputies arrived on scene they found the passenger, Adrian Smith, 49, of Elkhart, deceased from his injuries. The driver had fled on foot.

A K-9 unit from the Michigan State Police responded, and after a short track, took a male subject into custody. The identity of the suspect driver will be released after his arraignment.

Smith was not wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash. Deputies believe that drugs were a factor in the crash.

Edwardsburg Police, The Michigan State Police, Nappanee Police, and SEPSA Fire Authority assisted the Sheriff’s Office at the scene. The incident remains under investigation.