Corrections Officer Killed, 3 Others Injured In Hit-And-Run In NW Ind.
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UPDATED 03/07/12 11:19 a.m.
CROWN POINT, Ind. (CBS) – A Lake County, Ind., corrections officer is dead, and three others injured, after a hit-and-run in Crown Point.
As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, police are asking for help from the public to find the driver. The entire detective division of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department is on the case.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports
Lake County Sheriff’s officials said four officers had just gotten off guard duty at the Lake County Jail, and were jogging single-file around the perimeter of the Lake County Government Complex on 93rd Avenue near Main Street. They were jogging as part of a training session — some for the tactical team, others for the special operations response team.
A dark blue sport-utility vehicle barreled into them around 7 p.m. and fled the scene. Sheriff’s police say the vehicle never stopped and the driver never applied the brake.
In fact, police say, one of the officers heard the engine of the vehicle revving up before the officers were hit.
One of the officers, Britney Meux, 25, of Crown Point, who had been with the sheriff’s department for three years, was killed instantly. Meux was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, and had a daughter, Savannah.
One male officer — David Murchek, 26, of Crown Point — and one female officer — Latasha Johnson, 34 — were taken to Franciscan St. Anthony Health in Crown Point in fair condition, with multiple internal injuries. Murchek was later released from the hospital, while Johnson remained hospitalized as of mid-morning Wednesday with a broken arm and possible internal injuries, WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reported.
A third officer — Delano Scaife, 22, who had been with the department for just four months — was transferred to a hospital in Indianapolis, where he was in critical condition. He was in surgery Wednesday morning.
The driver sped away after the hit-and-run crash. Buncich said Meux never had a chance.
Meanwhile, he and his department are praying for the other three.
“It’s just a tragic situation. We have our critical incident team here. We have our chaplaincy crew here, and there’s a vigil going on at the hospital for the officers – a lot of the officers have gathered there,” Buncich said. “It’s just something you just don’t expect.”
Detectives have been working around the clock looking for surveillance video from nearby businesses. Sheriff John Buncich says the department is following several leads.
The offending vehicle was described as dark blue, and had the passenger’s side mirror was broken off, Buncich said. Police displayed the mirror at a news conference Wednesday.
“We’ve narrowed it down a 1999 to 2006 GMC Sierra, or a 2003 to 2006 GMC Yukon,” Buncich said. “There should be extensive damage to the passenger front lights, fog light, the hood area, and of course the side mirror on the passenger’s side is missing.”
Buncich said he did not know if the driver slammed into the officers deliberately.\
Anyone with information is asked to call the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, at (219) 755-3300.