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Lansing woman to face charges after crashing car into Little Calumet River

By Josh Bootsma

LANSING, Ill. (July 23, 2021) – A Lansing woman crashed her car into the Little Calumet River on Monday, and will face charges after being treated for her injuries.

Around 2 a.m. on July 19, Lansing Police responded to a call from a 41-year-old woman who was located in her vehicle in the river. Officers arrived to find a red Volkswagen fully in the water, but not submerged, due to the lower water levels. Officers quickly rescued the woman.

car crash
Remnants of the wreckage could still be seen in the river on Thursday. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

The Lansing resident told officers she had had a verbal argument with her boyfriend, and when her boyfriend left in his car, she chased after him in her vehicle.

Coming north on Burnham Avenue, she lost control of her car at the intersection of Burnham and 170th Street. Her vehicle became airborne and crashed through a small fence and some concrete on the west side of the intersection before settling in the Little Calumet River.

car crash
The airborne vehicle crashed through a fence and some concrete on the northwest corner of the intersection before entering the Little Calumet River. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Paramedics arrived on the scene and transported the woman to Christ Hospital to be treated for her injuries.

Detective Lieutenant Scott Bailey said driving under the influence and reckless driving charges are pending.

RapidSOS helps pinpoint location

Supervisor of Communications Brian Weis explained that LPD uses RapidSOS software to track emergency calls. The software, which the department has been using for about a year, uses a GPS system to help first responders pinpoint the exact location of callers.

Weis explained that after crashing her car and likely losing consciousness for a period of time, the woman called the non-emergency number for the Lansing Police Department. Weis said she was disoriented on the phone, and 9-1-1 dispatcher Carlos Davila was unable to pinpoint her location because she hadn’t called the emergency number. Davila walked her through the steps for calling 9-1-1 on her Apple Watch, and was then able to determine her location in the Little Calumet River and pass that information along to the responding officers.

“The RapidSOS technology really helped us pinpoint her in the river because before then, nobody really had an idea of what happened,” Weis said.

The 9-1-1 dispatch center at the Lansing Police Department can use RapidSOS to pinpoint the location of callers. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

The Lansing Police Department is located at 2710 170th Street, Lansing, IL.


Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.