Man leads police on chase, crashes into car in downtown Columbus

Booking photo: Gerardo Hurtado (Provided Photo/Bartholomew County Sheriff's Department)

COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) – A Portage man was taken into custody after he led police on a car chase which resulted in a serious crash in downtown Columbus Saturday morning.

According to officials, the Columbus Police Department assisted the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department on a vehicle pursuit heading south on U.S. 31 around 7:06 a.m. Police say in Columbus the suspect driving a Nissan car turned around at 10th Street and continued north on U.S. 31. The pursuit went up to 90 miles per house and continued out of city limits on U.S. 31. Officers stopped the pursuit as the suspect drove into I-65

Around 7:40 a.m., Columbus officers were sent to a the intersection of 3rd Street and Lyndsey Street after reports of a crash. Officers said one of the vehicle’s involved in the crash was the same car that led police on a pursuit.

The driver of the Ford Taurus, which was the other vehicle involved in the crash, was unresponsive and extricated from the vehicle.

Witnesses told officers the Nissan car was driving over the speed limit, ran a red light, and hit the Ford Taurus after entering the intersection at 3rd Street and Lyndsey Street.

The driver of the Nissan car is 49-year-old Gerardo Hurtado. Police say he refused to exit his car, which is why the Columbus Police Department broke out of the car’s windows to unlock the doors and tase Hurtado.

Police say after he was taken out of the car, he continued to be uncooperative and spit at officers. A Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Deputy identified Hurtado as the driver he had been pursuing several minutes earlier.

Hurtado was transported to Columbus Regional Hospital to get checked by medics. Once he was released he was transported to the Bartholomew County Jail. He was put on 72 hour hold for the following preliminary charges:

  • Criminal recklessness resulting in bodily injury
  • Battery by bodily waste on a law enforcement officer
  • Resisting law enforcement (vehicle)
  • Resisting law enforcement

The driver of the Ford Taurus, David Gates, 50 of North Vernon, was transported to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis with serious injuries.

This is an ongoing investigation.

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