FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – One man was killed after a short police chase in Fort Wayne Wednesday evening that ended in a crash. The Allen County Coroner has identified the man as 40-year-old Jermaine Lamar Walker, of Fort Wayne.
Police were called to the Southgate Shopping Plaza around 6:45 and were looking for Walker, who had several active warrants for his arrest. Officers say he was wanted for contempt of court, possession of paraphernalia, and resisting law enforcement.
Police set up surveillance and saw Walker a few minutes later in the parking lot. Walker drove off with a passenger in his vehicle but then stopped and allowed the passenger to get out of the car. He led police on a pursuit headed south on Airport Expressway from Fairfield Avenue.
During the pursuit, officers deployed stop sticks in the intersection of Airport Expressway and Bluffton Roads, which caused two of Walker’s tires to go flat.
“Typically that will slow them down to the point that they will stop and give up. We monitored the pursuit. There was very little traffic. We were on a highway setting. So it was safe in terms of that,” said Michael Joyner with the Fort Wayne Police Department.
Walker continued driving south and as he neared Ardmore Avenue, police said he crossed the center line into the northbound lanes. A northbound construction vehicle saw the oncoming car and tried to swerve, but police said Walker sideswiped the cab of the truck and hit its left rear wheels.
“He drove his vehicle directly at the oncoming traffic. As the driver of the northbound truck tried to adjust his position to miss the collision, so did our suspect who then drove further to try to impact and was successful in trying to impact that vehicle,” Joyner said.
Walker was pinned in his vehicle and firefighters had to pull him out. Medics took him to a local hospital, where he later died. The driver of the construction vehicle was not injured.
“In law enforcement we see some things that fall outside of what a normal individual would do,” Joyner said. “But stress makes people not think clearly for whatever reason. It’s very unfortunate that he chose to take that path he did. And ultimately it cost his life.”
Walker’s death is the 13th traffic fatality in Allen County in 2014.
An investigation into the crash continues.
Walker has a record with law enforcement. NewsChannel 15 archives show in 2005, he tried to run away from New Haven police following a car crash. Police eventually caught him when he jumped into the windshield of a stopped ambulance.