HOLMEN, Wis. (WXOW) - La Crosse Police said a person killed in an accident overnight was in the trunk of a car.
Authorities are now investigating the incident as a homicide.
Police said shortly after 1 a.m. Friday an officer noticed a suspicious vehicle in the area of 7th and La Crosse Streets. The officer ran the registration plate of the car and learned that the Grant County Sheriff's department had issued a missing and endangered person alert for the registered owner, a 79-year-old taxi driver from Platteville. The alert was issued on Thursday.
Police said the officer attempted to stop the driver of the car since he did not fit the description of the cars owner but the driver took off onto Copeland Ave. The pursuit continued northbound through La Crosse and continued onto Highway 35 through Onalaska. Police said as the fleeing car entered into Holmen, the driver hit another vehicle from behind, causing the stolen vehicle to go off the road and roll over.
News 19 obtained the 911 call from La Crosse Area Alerts, a Facebook page that records local emergency dispatch calls. Audio from the 911 call obtained from La Crosse Area Alerts indicates that speeds topped 100-115 mph during the chase.
Audio from the 911 call obtained by La Crosse Area Alerts also shows that everyone in the victim's car was okay, and that the 'party in the trunk' needed CPR, had injuries that looked like he was assaulted, and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the stolen car, Timmy Lansing Johnson Jr. from Lancaster, WI, was arrested.
During an investigation of the crash, the Wisconsin State Patrol said a 79-year-old elderly man from Platteville was found in the truck of the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said the man appeared to have been assaulted prior to the crash.
An autopsy is scheduled Friday for the victim. His name is being withheld at this time pending notification of the family.
The La Crosse Police department, in conjunction with the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation, Grant County Sheriffs department, Platteville Police department, Wisconsin State Patrol, the La Crosse County District Attorney's Office, and the La Crosse County Medical Examiners Office are investigating this incident as a homicide.
The State Patrol said three people were in the car that was hit by Johnson. All of them were from Holmen. Troopers said two people received minor injures the other person was not hurt.
Johnson is now in the La Crosse County Jail. Online records show that he's being held currently on four charges including fleeing an officer, reckless driving, bail jumping, and a probation violation. He does not have any bonds on those charges.
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