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Violent crash near 35th and Vliet ejects driver from the car

Posted at 2:49 PM, Sep 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-21 15:50:03-04

MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee man is recovering today after a police chase ended with a violent crash in Milwaukee.

Wauwatosa police say around 12:30 Friday morning, there were reports of an attempted motor vehicle theft near 85th & Ludington Avenue. A little more than an hour later, an officer saw a vehicle turn eastbound on Milwaukee Ave. from a residential neighborhood and accelerate rapidly. It was unknown if the vehicle was related so the officer followed to investigate. 

The officer pulled the vehicle over at 58th & Vliet for speeding. When he got out to approach the vehicle, the suspect took off. Police say the chase reached in excess of 80 mph. 

A short while later, the vehicle lost control and crashed into a pole at 35th & Vliet, ejecting the driver of the vehicle. Various other debris from the vehicle, including the engine, were also thrown around the street.

"There's pieces left," Dulce Trejo said. "I can't believe the engine came off the car. That's how fast he must have been going."

Trejo owns a building near 35th and Vliet. She says the engine hit the side of her building where bricks were displaced Friday morning.

"You can see the engine hit somehow," Trejo said. "It dragged from there, hit here and bounced. This is going to be a headache. It cracked the other side too. Glad it was in the middle of the night so no one was here."

This is the second time in two weeks a crash has resulted into damage to her building. Just feet away from where the engine hit, they replaced a door. 

"Me and my girlfriend actually heard a loud boom," Xander Davis said. "Sounded like an explosion almost."

Davis says he's lived in this apartment for a few months. He was there for the last crash but this one was different.

"Kind of shook the whole building," Davis said. "It sounded like someone was breaking in."

With his 11-year-old daughter and girlfriend in the building, he went outside to see what happened.

"All of the car pieces everywhere," Davis said. "The engine out right here. You could smell the gas everywhere. It was bad. This is a really bad area right here. A lot of accidents really do happen here."

Because of what he's dealt with in this area, he says he's seriously considering moving to keep his family safe. 

"It's scary because, what if someone was coming out here at the time?" Davis said. "Or, what if the car caught on fire when it hit the wall or something? The building could have been on fire and we have a child here. It's really scary."

Police say the vehicle was registered to the driver and it is not stolen. The driver is an adult male and is in the hospital with serious injuries. He was arrested for fleeing an officer and OWI (2nd). He is expected to be charged next week.