PORTER COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – A Chicago woman in an alleged stolen Jeep was arrested after she led police on a chase on I-94 that eventually ended after she crashed into another vehicle on Saturday.
Nakia S. Smith, 24, of Chicago, was arrested on multiple charges including theft with value of $50,000, theft of vehicle, leaving the scene of an injury crash, resisting law enforcement, and other charges.
ISP troopers assigned on All Crimes Policing, ACP, were working on I-94 near exit 49 to Chesterton. A trooper observed a black Jeep traveling at 83 mph. The posted speed limit is 70 mph. A traffic stop was initiated, and the Jeep initially pulled over near the 31 mile-marker.
As the trooper stopped the Jeep, he observed that Smith never placed it in park and kept her foot on the brake. The trooper stood outside of his patrol car, giving verbal commands for Smith to put the Jeep in park and lower the window.
After giving the commands, Smith accelerated from the traffic stop at a high rate of speed. The trooper initiated a short pursuit but lost sight of the Jeep after a mile.
Another trooper had been observing traffic on I-94 and was parked in the turn-a-round at the 29.9 mile-marker.
Hearing that Smith fled, the trooper attempted to retrieve stop-sticks from his trunk when he saw her traveling at a high rate of speed along the inside shoulder.
As Smith approached the parked police car, she swerved to the right to avoid the police car. The trooper ran to take cover, anticipating a crash with his parked police car.
Smith then rear-ended another car that was also traveling westbound.
After the initial impact, Smith continued to flee westbound at a reduced rate of speed.
Troopers were able to catch up to her and continued to follow until she eventually stopped at the 29 mile-marker due to the damage sustained in the initial crash.
Officers then ordered Smith out of the Jeep, however, she refused to exit for several minutes. Eventually, Smith complied and rolled down a window.
After being ordered to exit the vehicle, Smith was taken into custody without further incident. She was transported to the Porter County Jail for processing.
A check of the Jeep revealed that it had been reported stolen in Illinois in April 2021.
She is preliminarily being held at the Porter County Jail.
All suspects are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.