GREEN BAY — A high-speed chase involving a stolen Dodge Viper led to numerous crashes along U.S. 41. The chase ended with the driver fleeing on foot in Green Bay.
Officials say the chase began in Oconto County before spilling into Brown County. Both sheriff’s departments were involved in the pursuit of the suspect.
Green Bay officers were first notified about the chase around 11:15 Saturday morning, July 7th. The 1996 Dodge Viper had been involved in a hit and run crash with injuries and drove away.
Oconto County Sheriff’s officials chased the car south on U.S. 41. The chase caused multiple crashes, including one with a vehicle pulling a boat. At one point, the chase crossed into northbound lanes.
Brown County officials deployed tire deflation devices in an effort to stop the fleeing Viper.
A Brown County deputy, driving a Village of Suamico squad car, swerved to avoid the deflation devices and traveled through the median hitting a northbound Pontiac Grand Am. The female driver suffered life threatening injuries. She has been identified as 27-year-old Michelle Lecker of Milwaukee. The deputy (53-year-old Rueben Meisner of Oconto) and the passenger in Lecker’s vehicle (28-year-old Paul Micheel of Daggett, Michigan) were transported to the hospital and are expected to survive.
Parts of the highway were shut down at times due to the crashes.
Oconto County and Brown County Sheriff’s officials eventually called off the chase out of concern for public safety.
The Dodge Viper continued south on I-43, where it was again located by Green Bay Police officials.
Eventually, the car came to a stop and the driver ran into the woods at Baird Creek.
Police set up a perimeter and called in a K-9 unit to try and track the suspect, but were unable to locate him.
Jim Griffith provided pictures of the incident to FOX6 News, and described what he saw.
“I looked and there was a Dodge Viper that looked like it had been beat up pretty good. Come around the corner right here, started going sideways, almost hit another mini van that was right here. Kind of gunned it, and ended up going down the road. Ended up on the left side of the road there and he jumped out and into the woods he went,” Griffith said.
Officials describe the suspect as a white man in his late teens to early 20s, about 5’10” to 6’1″ tall, weighing between 165 to 185 pounds.
The man has blondish brown hair, possibly a goatee, and was wearing black and white shorts.
Anyone with information into this incident is asked to contact the Green Bay Police Department at (920) 448-3208.
The investigation into this incident is ongoing.