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Police chase leads to 2 killed in Mishawaka crash; family searching for answers

Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 11:09 PM EST
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MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - We’re learning more about a crash that took the lives of a young Michiana couple.

The crash happened in front of a home at East 13th St and East Spring Street, but according to police this all started several blocks away. Now a father of one of the victims tells me instead of picking out Christmas presents, he now has to pick out a casket.

“I can’t comprehend losing my daughter, but the last time I seen her I never got to say goodbye,” Shane Neher says.

Neher saw his daughter the day before the accident that took the lives of 19-year-old Clayton McClish of Osceola 18- year-old Elizabeth Johnson of Mishawaka.

Elizabeth was his daughter.

“She’s just a little angel,” he says.

This tragic ending began several blocks over near the 500 block of East 12th Street. Mishawaka police say they responded to a door being kicked in around 8pm. A man fled police and jumped into a silver Pontiac Grand Prix and took off. A police chase ensued, with tragedy waiting down the street.

“Just praying to God, praying to God but when a minister comes out and won’t look me in my eyes I know, I’ve been through this too many times, I’ve lost too many people,” Neher says. He adds that his family has seen a number of tragic accidents over the years; from gun violence to car crashes.

“That was my first baby girl,” he says.

That Grand Prix on the run from police struck Elizabeth and Clayton’s Chevy Cavalier. Police markings still in the grass where the cars came to rest.

“These are kids, 18-years-old, you know, I mean they haven’t even got a shot at life yet,” Neher says.

Clayton had just bought Elizabeth a ring, hoping to spend the rest of their lives together. The two men running from that Grand Prix, maybe not know the gravity of what they had done, cutting two young lives short. The family demanding justice.

“Your best bet is to turn yourself in, and I mean that with all my heart. Let’s save all our families this trouble.”

As of last check no suspects have been named and no arrests reported. We’ll continue to follow this story and bring you the latest details.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for Elizabeth’s funeral expenses. You can donate at gofundme.com/f/elizabeths-lizzy-funeral-costs

From the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday Morning:

Yesterday evening at approximately 8:00 p.m., Mishawaka Police Department officers were dispatched to the 500 block of E. 12th St. where a door had been kicked in at a residence. Officers engaged in a foot pursuit with a male near that address who they then saw get into the back seat of a silver Pontiac Grand Prix. Officers pursued the Pontiac for less than a minute when the Pontiac, traveling westbound on 13th St., struck a Chevrolet Cavalier traveling south on Spring St. Two males were seen fleeing on foot from the Pontiac, and a female passenger in the Pontiac remained on scene and cooperated with investigators. At this time, the driver of the Pontiac is unknown.

Both occupants of the Cavalier were taken to the hospital where they were subsequently pronounced deceased. They have been positively identified as Clayton McClish, M/W 19 years old of Osceola, and Elizabeth Johnson, F/W 18 years old of Mishawaka.

The St. Joseph County Fatal Crash Team (FACT) was activated, per protocol, to assist with the investigation. This remains an active and on-going investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call FACT at 574-235-9514 or Crime Stoppers at 288-STOP.

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