Victims identified in fatal crash involving fleeing vehicle; police still searching for driver

MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) – Officials have identified the person who died in a crash caused by a Jeep that was fleeing from police Friday night, but the driver of that vehicle is still on the loose.

The driver of the Jeep ran away from the Mishawaka crash scene. Police used K-9 units in an attempt to track him but were unsuccessful.

The driver of the Toyota Camry, who was pronounced deceased at the scene, has been identified as John F. Riedle, a 58-year-old from South Bend.

The passenger in the Camry has been identified as Laszlo A. Nemeth, a 58-year-old from South Bend. He suffered a serious chest injury requiring tubes and a ventilator, and he remains in the hospital as of late Monday morning. He is in serious condition but expected to survive.

Police continue to search for the driver of the Jeep, who has been described as a black male in a dark jacket or sweatshirt and gray sweatpants.

There were four passengers in the Jeep, and three were treated for minor injuries.

Three of the passengers were charged with unrelated crimes.

Sedgwick Rashawn Jackson, 19, was charged with aiding, inducing or causing armed robbery; and aiding, inducing or causing kidnapping.

Janelle Samari Fritz, 19, was charged with aiding, inducing or causing armed robbery; and aiding, inducing or causing kidnapping.

Makayla Roundtree, 19, was charged with armed robbery.

A fourth passenger in the Jeep, 24-year-old Deshaun Shields, was arrested on a warrant for unrelated charges and released on his own recognizance.

The inciting incident happened around 7:24 p.m., when an ISP trooper tried to stop the Jeep as it was going approximately 99 mph on the U.S. 20 Bypass near the Elkhart-St. Joseph County line.

The trooper gave chase and eventually discovered the Jeep had been reported stolen. The Jeep got off the Bypass at State Road 19, then headed north into Elkhart before turning west on Old U.S. 20.

Police reportedly held back at Home Street to let traffic clear, but the Jeep continued, causing the crash at Byrkit.

The St. Joseph County Fatal Crash Team is investigating.

Anyone with information on the identity of the driver of the Jeep is asked to call FACT at 574-235-5438.