Charges pending against driver, passenger who crashed into semi during police chase

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Volkswagen versus Semi
The driver of this black Volkswagen crashed into a tractor-trailer during an early-morning pursuit on Interstate 80/94 on Wednesday, March 3, in Lake county, Indiana. (Courtesy: Indiana State Police)

LAKE COUNTY, Ind. — The driver and passenger of a passenger vehicle that crashed into a tractor-trailer while attempting to flee Indiana State Police during the early hours of March 3 have been arrested pending felony and misdemeanor charges.

At 12:45 a.m. Wednesday, March 3, Indiana State Trooper Dennis Griffin observed a black 2010 Volkswagen traveling east on Interstate 80/94 near Cline Avenue, at a high rate of speed. A radar check revealed the car’s speed as 96 mph in a posted 55 mph zone. Griffin pursued the Volkswagen, pacing it at 100 mph as the driver began to “make unsafe lane movements,” according to a statement from the Indiana State Police.

When Griffin attempted to make a traffic stop, the driver of the Volkswagen accelerated, and a pursuit was initiated when the vehicle exited the interstate at Grant Street and then reentered the westbound lanes toward Illinois. As the pursuit continued, the driver turned off all the lights on the suspect vehicle in what Griffin believed was a further attempt to flee.

While traveling without lights, the vehicle crashed into the trailer of a semi that was also traveling westbound. The two vehicles then stopped near Calumet Ave. Both occupants of the car were immediately taken into custody. Neither the driver of the semi nor the occupants of the Volkswagen were injured as a result of the crash.

Troopers recovered a loaded .45 caliber Glock handgun from the scene and later seized a bag of suspected marijuana from the passenger.

The driver, Aris J. Lawson, 25, of Chicago Heights, Illinois, and passenger, Kayla J. Davis, 23, of Sauk Village, Illinois, were transported to the Lake County Jail for booking.

In addition to an outstanding warrant for possession of marijuana in Lake County, preliminary charges against Lawson include:

  • Possession of a handgun by a convicted felon (Level 5 felony);
  • Resisting law enforcement (Level 6 felony);
  • Handgun, no license (Class A misdemeanor); and
  • Reckless Driving (Class B misdemeanor).

Preliminary charges against Davis include:

  • Possession of a controlled substance (Class A misdemeanor);
  • Resisting Law Enforcement (Class A misdemeanor); and
  • Possession of Marijuana (Class B misdemeanor).

All persons named are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court. All charges mentioned are merely accusations, actual charges will be determined by the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office.

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