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Police chase ends in deadly crash near 13th and Layton in Milwaukee

13th and Layton
Posted at 5:36 AM, May 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 18:18:58-04

MILWAUKEE — A 38-year-old man is dead after police say he fled police and then crashed at a high rate of speed on the Milwaukee-Greenfield border early Tuesday morning.

According to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office, the man has been identified as Westley E. Woods.

Greenfield police said in a statement that while on patrol, an officer spotted a vehicle speeding down 27th near Howard. A radar check put the driver's speed at 98 miles per hour in a 40 mile per hour zone.

The officer tried to pull the driver over for speeding, but the driver refused to stop, police said. The driver instead increased his speed. The officer soon lost sight of the suspect at 20th and Layton. The officer then ended the pursuit.

The Greenfield officer checked for any crashes or abandoned vehicles in the area and saw a single vehicle at 13th and Layton.

Responding officers realized this was the same vehicle involved in the earlier police pursuit. The officers saw the vehicle was on fire, and so they extinguished the flames.

Inside the burnt vehicle the officers found the driver. Woods died at the scene of the crash.

Body camera footage released

Greenfield released officer body camera on the same day of the crash. The video shows officers approach the smoking vehicle, put out the flames and look inside the vehicle, where the body of the man was located. [Watch the new footage in the video at the top of this report].

Just before 2 a.m., dash camera footage shows a black car speeding down 27th right in front of a Greenfield police officer.

“Seems to be going 100 miles per hour,” the officer told dispatchers. “Looks like we’re gonna go eastbound on Layton.”

Shortly after the chase began, police say the driver refused to stop and sped even faster to the point where the officer lost sight of the vehicle. That’s when Greenfield police say the pursuit was terminated. Per department policy, the officer checked the area to see if the vehicle crashed or if it had been abandoned.

About a minute later, the officer found the mangled car on Layton. Dash camera video shows the vehicle smoking with heavy front bumper damage. Body camera footage shows the officer run up to find the driver’s door jammed shut. Meanwhile, flames could be seen coming from underneath the car.

Other officers are seen in the footage arriving and putting out the fire. Officers were able to pry open the passenger door where police say the driver was found dead inside.

T.J. Anderson owns Martino’s restaurant just up the street from where the single-vehicle crash ended. He calls it one of the busiest intersections in the city, but that wasn’t the case in the middle of the night.

"Layton Avenue has always been a main thoroughfare,” he said. “The safety side of the city has really done a good job of trying to put up signs and stoplights and warnings and stuff like that."

Police say the vehicle was previously stolen in Milwaukee. Milwaukee police are investigating the crash. Authorities have yet to released the name of the driver.

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