Two airlifted to hospital after police pursuit ends in rollover crash

An early morning police pursuit in Kosciusko County ended in a rollover crash, sending two people to a Fort Wayne hospital.

Around 2 a.m. Saturday, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department deputies were dispatched to a domestic battery along County Road 1300 North, near Warner Rd., just outside Syracuse. When an officer approached the house, no one answered the door. After a short while, the deputy closed out the call and left the home.

Minutes later, the same deputy saw a car parked at the home, drive away. He attempted to make a traffic stop with the 2007 Pontiac G6, but the driver refused to pull over. As the pursuit neared the intersection of County Road 1250 North and E. Wawasee Dr., the driver blew a stop sign. Limited stopping distance forced the sedan to skid sideways across the roadway, slam into two pine trees, roll over and trap two people inside.

Syracuse firefighters and paramedics used the Jaws of Life to remove the driver, Andrew Gabbard, 19, and his passenger, Alexandra Hernandez, 18, from the wreckage.

Because of the severity of their injuries, both Gabbard and Hernandez were airlifted to the Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne. As of 4 p.m. Saturday, Gabbard was listed in serious, but stable condition with a possible broken arm and other minor injuries. Hernandez was listed in critical condition with multiple fractures, internal injuries and a lower leg amputation.

The Kosciusko County F.A.C.T. team is leading the investigation, which remains under review. Blood draws were taken at the hospital per Indiana state law. It's unclear at this time if those draws showed signs of alcohol consumption. The Kosciusko County Prosecutor’s Office will take a final look at the crash investigation before deciding whether formal charges should be filed.

The Kosciusko County F.A.C.T. team was assisted by the Syracuse-Turkey Creek Township E.M.S and Fire Department, Syracuse Police Department, Warsaw Police Department and the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department.

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