Suspect driver sought after crash, chase in Hartford


HARTFORD, Mich. (WOOD) — The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a driver who was allegedly involved in a car crash and then led officers on a chase.

The crash happened around 5:15 p.m. Wednesday on Red Arrow Highway at 65th Street in Hartford Township, just west of the city of Hartford. The sheriff’s office says a 911 caller reported being involved with a property damage crash with a maroon Chevrolet Tahoe, which then took off. Authorities did not say there were any injuries in that incident.

Sheriff’s deputies driving in the city of Hartford spotted an SUV matching that description and pulled it over. The vehicle stopped, but as deputies were approaching, the suspect driver took off again.

Deputies and Hartford police gave chase. They said the suspect driver was going “at very high rates of speed through residential neighborhoods” and through a parking lot at Hartford schools where children were playing. In response to what they described as “reckless driving,” pursing officers backed off.

At one point in the chase, the suspect vehicle ignored a stop sign, which caused a Hartford police officer to crash into a fire hydrant. That officer was hurt, hospitalized and has since been released.

Eventually, deputies gave up the chase for safety reasons.

Investigators say they think they have some information that may lead them to the suspect and are following up on that, but no one had been arrested as of Thursday afternoon. The investigation is ongoing and the sheriff’s office expects to recommend criminal charges against the driver.

The suspect vehicle is described as a maroon 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe with several stickers on the back. The sheriff’s department released an image of the vehicle on Wednesday.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911, the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office at 269.657.3101, the Hartford Police Department at 269.621.2477, or Crime Stoppers at 1.800.342.7867.

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