INDIANAPOLIS — A police pursuit early Saturday morning ended in a fiery fatal crash on the city’s northwest side.
Just before 3 a.m., IMPD said officers saw a silver Pontiac hit a pedestrian and keep going.
“Officers attempted a traffic stop on that vehicle,” Officer Samone Burris said. “At which point the driver of that hit-and-run vehicle led officers on a brief pursuit.”
That pursuit went up Michigan Road until it reached 71st Street. That’s where police say the driver of the Pontiac slammed into the back of a Mazda that was waiting at a red light.
“That Mazda was pushed through the intersection and then caught fire,” Burris said.
Officers were able to help free two of the three people in that car but were unable to save a woman trapped inside.
That woman, police said, was pronounced dead on scene. Family members identified her Saturday as Nyla Sanders. Her sister told CBS4 she had just gotten off of work when she died in that crash.
“Preliminary information leads us to believe that both speed and alcohol played a factor in this incident,” Burris said.
According to a police report, officers arrested 23-year-old Jose Lopez. He was booked into the Marion County Jail on numerous preliminary charges, including numerous counts of operating while intoxicated.
Police records show Lopez was previously arrested on December 5, 2021, for driving under the influence. Court records reveal he is currently on probation for that incident.
This is just the latest IMPD pursuit that has a deadly end.
Two weeks ago, a man being pursued by police drove the wrong way on I-465 and slammed into a car, killing a father and his 12-year-old daughter.
“Our hearts go out to the individuals that are involved in this incident,” Burris said.
The two people pulled from the burning car were taken to an area hospital where one of them is listed in critical condition.
IMPD’s Internal Affairs unit is investigating the crash, which Burris said is standard procedure when a police pursuit leads to an injury or death.