An attempt to pull over a vehicle in Columbus due to faulty brake lights resulted in a multi-county chase that ended after the suspect’s vehicle caught fire.
The incident began just before 5 a.m. Sunday near Jonathan Moore Pike in Columbus, said Caitlyn Gross, spokeswoman for the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.
The vehicle fled from deputy Nate Nichols, traveling south on Johnson Boulevard and continuing on Carr Hill Road, then north on Terrace Lake Road, Gross said.
The suspect avoided stop sticks and continued westbound on State Road 46 into Brown County, where Brown County Sheriff’s Department assisted in the pursuit, she said.
The vehicle continued through Brown County but turned eastbound back into Bartholomew County on Whitehorse Road, Gross said.
The vehicle came to a full stop at County Road 50 South after hitting two sets of stop sticks, she said. With all tires flat and the vehicle running on rims, it caught fire.
While the vehicle was stopped, the driver — later identified as Desi Buckler, 33, of 6805 Bonesteel Drive, Columbus — continued to hold onto the gas pedal and remain in the vehicle, Gross said.
After some time in the burning vehicle, Buckler and the passenger — later identified as Douglas Houchens, 37, of Columbus — both exited and surrendered, she said.
Buckler was taken to Bartholomew County Jail on multiple warrants, resisting law enforcement with a vehicle and reckless driving, Gross said.
Houchens was arrested for multiple warrants but was released at Columbus Regional Hospital after being admitted, she said.
Deputies who assisted included Dane Duke, Teancum Clark and Sgt. Kris Weisner; assisting agencies included the Brown County Sheriff’s Office and Columbus Regional Emergency Services.