Posted on Feb 08, 2024

Woman dies after stealing LaPorte County Sheriff's vehicle and crashing

LAPORTE COUNTY, IN - Indiana State Police said a woman died in a crash after stealing a LaPorte County Sheriff's Office vehicle last week.

A report by WISH said that the victim was identified as 21-year-old Melissa L. Collins of Lafayette.  According to State Police, Collins had been handcuffed and secured in the front passenger seat of the sheriff deputy's car Jan. 31, but was able to manipulate the handcuffs, unbuckle her seat belt and drive away in the vehicle.  Officers initiated a pursuit but lost sight of the vehicle.

They eventually came across debris in the roadway in the area of 2100 South and 875 West and found the stolen sheriff's vehicle submerged in water in a ditch.  Collins was found in the car and pronounced dead.  Police said she crashed the vehicle after crossing a set of railroad tracks at an extremely high rate of speed.