Driver that hit police officer may face attempted murder charge

Officials are cleaning up an area where a DeWitt Township Police vehicle was struck by a...
Officials are cleaning up an area where a DeWitt Township Police vehicle was struck by a minivan. (Source WILX) (WILX)
Published: Jan. 16, 2020 at 4:51 PM EST
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DeWitt Township Police is considering attempted murder charges against the woman who crashed into an officer on Wednesday and put him in the hospital.

Police believe the 33-year-old woman from Laingsburg deliberately rammed into the officer's car.

As of Thursday, the Clinton County Sheriff's office is taking over the investigation from the DeWitt police.

They are saying they want an attempted murder charge because the other driver admitted to trying to kill herself by crashing into the officer's vehicle.

The crash happened around 11:03 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at Old 27 and Jason Road.

Clinton County Sheriff Larry Jerue said, "We have evidence to believe that this was a deliberate act on the perpetrator's part to run head-on into that vehicle and this afternoon (Thursday) we are submitting a report to the prosecuting attorney's office along with requests for multiple charges including that of attempted murder."

Jerue added that the woman, who led the police chase from Laingsburg into Clinton County, was trying to escape police because of her criminal record.

"There were a number of warrants out for her arrest which would have ultimately culminated in her being sent back to prison," he said.

He added that she swerved to make sure she hit the DeWitt Township officer's car.

"Had she stayed on the course she was on she would have avoided the police car. She took action to bring herself directly in line with that vehicle."

An off-duty Lansing firefighter, Carl Pawluk saw it happen.

He said, "It was scary actually. It was such a loud thud, a loud sound that it was surreal."

Putting his shock aside he sprung into action to help.

"I pulled over and ran to the police car first, and I couldn't get his driver's door open, but I went around to the other side and I was able to get the passenger door open and get in to assess how he was doing."

DeWitt Township Police Chief Mike Gute credited him for helping save his officer's life.

"He's in good spirits. He's surrounded by family right now. He's being well taken care of," said Gute. "He's got a long road ahead of him."

In addition to the attempted murder charges, police are also looking at fleeing and eluding, and reckless driving charges.

It will ultimately be up to the Clinton County Prosecutor to decide what she's charged with, which should happen in a few days.

Both the woman and the officer are still in the hospital and expected to live.

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