Early morning chase turns deadly overnight in Brookfield

Posted at 12:27 PM, Sep 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-25 19:15:31-04

BROOKFIELD -- A sheriff's deputy pursuit turned deadly when a driver lost control of his car and crashed in Brookfield.

The crash happened just before midnight Sunday near Bluemound and Calhoun Roads.

According to the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department, a pursuit is what led to the crash. A sheriff’s deputy tried to conduct a traffic stop for excessive speeding at Barker and Bluemound Road in the Town of Brookfield.

When the deputy made contact with the driver, a smell of marijuana came from the car. The driver then sped off, lost control of his car and crashed. Deputies attempted life saving measures, but the driver didn’t survive. 

The driver is a 24-year-old man from the City of Milwaukee. Law enforcement is waiting to make contact with next of kin before releasing his name. 

We Energies said the crash caused less than 60 people to lose power. Electricity was restored within two hours and crews were busy Monday morning working to make additional repairs. 

A witness parked at the gas station says she saw the car coming down Bluemound with deputies in pursuit. She says the driver lost control and tried to correct, eventually crashing into a utility pole, a tree and a light pole.

The witness said despite the intersection usually being very busy, there weren't any other cars on the road.

Brian Dorow, a former police supervisor with the City of Waukesha and the current assistant dean of criminal justice at Waukesha County Technical College says the lack of traffic is often a main factor when law enforcement decides whether or not to pursue a car.

"They look at the seriousness of the offense, that’s the first thing they’ll take into consideration," said Dorow. "The risk factors go into who’s on the road right now, are there a lot of cars coming and going, is it a densely populated area, is there foot traffic?"

According to the FBI, one out of every 100 police pursuits ends in a death. And of those deaths, 42 percent are innocent bystanders.

In this case, the driver died on scene and there were no injuries to anyone else.

Dorow says the decision to pursue is often made on a case by case basis, but public safety is always a concern.

"We know that a lot of times, even though a law enforcement officer may discontinue the pursuit, the suspect vehicle continues on at a high rate of speed," he said.

The two deputies involved in the pursuit are now on paid administrative leave.