LAKE COUNTY — A substantial amount of prescription opiates were found stocked inside a car that fled police Tuesday after the driver crashed at the Gary East Toll Plaza, officials said.
Authorities found 3.6 gallons of suspected liquid codeine stored in several smaller bottles inside the vehicle, said Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez.
Lake County sheriff's highway patrol chased the vehicle about 7 a.m. after an officer saw the vehicle speeding westbound on Interstate 80, police said. The vehicle initially stopped when police attempted to pull it over but then fled from the stop.
Martinez identified the officer who initiated the pursuit as Gary police Officer Artibe. The driver fled west on the Indiana Toll Road before crashing on the 14A exit ramp to Grant Street, Martinez and Indiana State Police said.
Inside the car were a male driver and a female passenger, both from Chicago. The passenger stayed inside, but the driver tried to flee on foot before being apprehended, Martinez said.
At least one of the two possessed suspected drugs, Martinez said, and both were placed under arrest. The vehicle was a rental from New Jersey.
The identities of those arrested have not yet been released pending charges, including counts of fleeing and resisting law enforcement, Martinez said. In addition, the suspected codeine will be sent to the Indiana State Laboratory for further analysis.
Emergency crews later arrived to the crash and transported both people to Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus to be checked for minor injuries, Martinez said.The exit ramp was temporarily closed following the crash, and was reopened about 7:50 a.m.
Times staff writer Anna Ortiz contributed to this story.
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