MILWAUKEE -- A 40-year-old John Janick of Caledonia was killed after he slammed his vehicle into a home in South Milwaukee. It was a fatal end to a police pursuit that began early Thursday morning, December 13th.
Authorities say Janick was traveling at least 50 miles-per-hour (25 mph over the posted speed limit) in the area of 9th and Edgewood. Around 2 a.m., an officer attempted to stop Janick for speeding. Officials say he failed to pull over for the officer, which led to a pursuit, and crash.
Police say the officer was no long pursuing the vehicle at the time of the crash due to the speed of the fleeing vehicle. Police say Janick accelerated to a point where the officer could no longer see the vehicle.
As a result of the pursuit Janick lost control, struck a tree and then crashed into a home on Edgewood Ave. near 9th Avenue.
"I heard them coming, then I heard them hit the house," neighbor Lyle Maass said.
Officials say following the crash, the vehicle caught on fire, causing the house to catch fire as well. The fire damaged the front of the home and spread to the attic before being extinguished.
The fire department says a family of three was inside the home at the time of the crash. Officials say all three were able to exit the home unharmed. They are now staying with relatives.
That family didn't want to speak with FOX6 News on camera Thursday, but said they were sleeping in a corner bedroom that was completely destroyed by fire. They were awoken by the sound of the crash, then came outside to find the vehicle engulfed in flames.
Janick, and lone occupant, died as a result of the crash.
As it turns out, this is not the first crash on this block.
"10 years ago, they hit a stump, flew across a guy's driveway and smacked into a tree and hit a stump," neighbor Raymond Kurkowski said.
"About five years ago, a car came up and did the same thing, with two kids in it. They compensated and ended up over our yard, through the yard, into the neighbor's yard on its side," neighbor John Brunette said.
Neighbors say the problem lies with how the streets are laid out. It's a straight shot when traveling south on 9th Avenue, until it suddenly curves to become Edgewood. During Thursday's crash, the difficult turn was likely only made worse by the driver's speed.