Driver fleeing police causes deadly crash in Sterling Heights

Suspect, 3 others reportedly stole 4 vehicles from Romeo car dealership before crash

Driver wanted by police causes deadly Sterling Heights car crash

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – A driver fleeing police caused a deadly crash in Sterling Heights early Friday morning, officials say.

UPDATE: 17-year-old charged in Sterling Heights crash that killed 20-year-old woman

According to authorities, Macomb County deputies attempted to pull over a red Jeep Grand Cherokee at around 11:02 p.m. Thursday night in the area of 30 Mile and Van Dyke roads. Officials say several cars were stolen from a car dealership in Romeo, including the Jeep Cherokee in question.

See more details about the dealership break-in below.

Sterling Heights crash details

The driver of the Jeep did not stop for police, and a Macomb County deputy began pursuing the vehicle. Officials say that the pursuit was called off before the driver reached the city of Sterling Heights.

No other law enforcement agencies picked up the pursuit once police stopped chasing the vehicle.

The driver of the Jeep -- identified as a 17-year-old from Detroit -- reportedly continued driving southbound on Van Dyke Road at speeds over 100 mph, running red lights at every major intersection, officials said.

Upon running a red light on Van Dyke Road near 15 Mile Road, the driver of the Jeep crashed into a Chevrolet Malibu, instantly killing the driver, a 20-year-old woman, Sterling Heights police said.

Upon crashing, both the Jeep and the Chevrolet crashed into a third vehicle, a Hyundai Sonata. Police say the driver and passenger of the Hyundai sustained minor injuries in the crash.

You can see footage from the crash in the video above.

The 17-year-old driver of the Jeep reportedly sustained some injuries in the crash and was taken to the hospital. They are currently in police custody. Their identity has not been released.

Officials say there was another passenger in the Jeep with the suspect who fled the scene on foot following the crash. That person has not yet been located.

This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Sterling Heights Police Traffic Safety Bureau at 586-446-2920.

Romeo car dealership break-in details

The Macomb County Sheriff’s Office provided an update on the car dealership theft on Friday afternoon.

According to officials, deputies were dispatched to Jim Riehl’s Friendly Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram of Romeo at about 11:02 p.m. on Thursday night following reports of reckless driving in the area.

When the first deputy arrived at the dealership, a red 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee reportedly exited the parking lot at a high rate of speed. A deputy pursued the Jeep, which traveled northbound on Van Dyke Road and then eastbound on 30 Mile Road. Officials say the Jeep was driving at a high rate of speed and the police pursuit was called off near Van Dyke and 26 Mile roads.

Other deputies responding to the incident witnessed three additional vehicles -- two 2018 Dodge Challengers, one white and one green, and one 2021 Dodge Charger -- exit the parking lot and flee in different directions.

The sheriff’s office says that deputies were later informed that the red Jeep crashed in Sterling Heights in the area of Van Dyke and 15 Mile Roads (the crash reported above). A deputy was reportedly responding to that crash when they witnessed another one of the stolen vehicles, the Dodge Charger, drive past and attempted to pursue that vehicle instead. Warren police were called and attempted to conduct a traffic stop with the deputy. The vehicle did not stop and fled from police, heading eastbound on I-696.

Officials say the pursuit of that vehicle ended at I-94.

Police later found the green Dodge Challenger unoccupied on southbound Van Dyke Road just south of 23 Mile Road. A K-9 search was conducted to locate the driver, but it was unsuccessful.

In all, four individuals reportedly broke into the Romeo car dealership and stole four vehicles. Surveillance footage of the break-in can be seen below.

Police say after the vehicles exited the dealership parking lot, they entered the Kroger parking lot just north of the dealership and began doing “doughnuts.” The vehicles all fled once deputies arrived at the location.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office at 586-307-9358.

Dealership break-in surveillance footage

Police have not yet said how many vehicles were stolen from the car dealership in Washington Township, or how many suspects investigators are looking for.

Stay with Local 4 and ClickOnDetroit for updates on this developing story.

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About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.