The Journal Gazette
Saturday, September 19, 2020 1:00 am

Driver, 29, crashes, dies after leading police on short chase

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

A man killed Friday in a wreck after leading police on a short chase had violated a no-contact order related to a 2019 domestic battery case, investigators said. 

Officers were called about 3:45 a.m. to a home in the 2600 block of Kenwood Avenue, where they said a man was “involved in a domestic situation” but was not there when they arrived. The man – identified later as Joshua M. Kirchhoff, 29 – drove by the home while police were there, according to a news release. 

He sped off and led officers on a short chase before police called it off, the release says, and Kirchhoff fled east on said Avenue “at a high rate of speed.”

“As the vehicle approached the intersection of Coliseum Boulevard and Vance Avenue, the vehicle disregarded a red light at the intersection as it collided with a truck that was traveling northbound on Coliseum,” John Chambers of the Fort Wayne Police Department said in a statement issued after the crash.

Kirchoff was killed, and the driver of the truck suffered minor injuries. 

Allen County Deputy Coroner Christopher Meihls said Kirchhoff died from multiple blunt force injuries due to the crash. It is the 18th traffic death in Allen County this year.

A coroner's office news release said police were investigating a domestic disturbance involving a violation of a protection order. 

Kirchhoff pleaded guilty to felony domestic battery after his girlfriend told police in July 2019 he slapped her in the face and pushed her while he was holding their toddler daughter, according to a probable cause affidavit. He was given a 11/2-year suspended sentence in January, court records said, and an order prohibiting from contacting the woman was issued.

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