One person has died after an early-morning police chase related to a burglary at a Wood River auto dealership.
According to the Wood River Police Department, at 1:06 a.m. Tuesday police responded to a commercial burglar alarm at Federico Chrysler Car Dealership, 1875 E. Edwardsville Road. Several vehicles had just sped off from the dealership.
Patrol officers from the Roxana, Hartford, South Roxana and East Alton police departments assisted.
Wood River officers arrived at the car dealership and found a window broken and evidence the dealership had been entered.
While responding to the alarm, a Roxana police officer saw five vehicles traveling south on Illinois 255 from Illinois 143 at a high rate of speed. Four of the vehicles were later learned to be stolen from the dealership.
As the vehicles traveled on Illinois 255, near Gateway Commerce Center, two of the vehicles crashed, a 2014 Dodge Dart and a 2015 Ford Edge. As a result of the crash, one person was pronounced dead at the scene by the Madison County Coroner’s Office. The 16-year-old driver of the Dodge Dart sustained life-threatening injuries and was subsequently transported to a hospital in St. Louis.
According to Illinois State Police, the two vehicles collided trying to turn onto the Illinois 255 southbound ramp to I-270. The Dart rolled over, ejecting the driver. The Edge crashed into a drainage canal about 300 feet off the road, becoming almost completely submerged.
A Roxana officer saw the driver of the Edge trying to swim in the canal and the officer went into the water to try to save him but was not able to locate the driver. A deceased male was found at the bottom of the canal at about 4:01 a.m.
The Illinois 255 southbound ramp to I-270 was closed for about three hours.
This incident is pending further investigation by the Wood River Police, Roxana Police Department, Illinois State Police, and the Madison County Coroner’s Office.
All subjects are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.