Elkhart County – Last Friday evening a routine traffic stop by Indiana State Trooper Ben Werner was anything but when the driver fled and eventually crashed. Officers at the accident scene quickly discovered that the driver of the car was wanted on warrants, in possession of drugs, and had an active meth lab in his car.
The pursuit began when Trooper Werner attempted to stop an Oldsmobile Alero for having an expired license plate near the intersection of SR 19 and West Franklin Street on the west side of Elkhart. The driver of the car led Werner on a short chase before he eventually crashed into another vehicle on Elkhart Avenue near the Easy Shopping Place. The occupants of the other car were not injured.
The driver of the Alero was taken into custody by police at the crash scene and identified as Preston J. Alvarez, 23 of Elkhart. The Alero was also occupied by a female passenger and a 2-year-old child. All three occupants were taken to Elkhart General Hospital and released with no injuries.
Police discovered a one pot meth lab in the Oldsmobile Alero after members of the Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Team processed the car at the scene due to strong chemical odors.
Alvarez was arrested and taken to the Elkhart County Jail on several charges to include two warrants for domestic battery and criminal mischief. In addition he was charged with resisting law enforcement with a motor vehicle, dealing methamphetamine, possession of paraphernalia with a prior charge, possession of methamphetamine, reckless driving, and neglect of a dependent.
*All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.