ISP: Teen driver involved in wreck that killed his 2 friends did not have a license

All 3 victims identified

ISP: Teen driver involved in wreck that killed his 2 friends did not have a license

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ind. (WAVE) - The two teenagers killed and a third who was injured when a police chase ended in a violent crash have all been identified.

A pursuit involving a Madison, Ind., police officer and a vehicle with three passengers inside ended when the fleeing car lost control on State Road 256 and Thompson Road in Jefferson County on Thursday afternoon. Friday, Indiana State Police Sgt. Stephen Wheeles posted two pictures from the gruesome crash scene on Facebook. They are below:

(Story continues below the Facebook post)

Suspect Crashes Vehicle While Fleeing Police, Claiming the Lives of Two Passengers in the Vehicle On January 9, 2020 at...

Posted by Sgt. Stephen Wheeles-Indiana State Police on Friday, January 10, 2020
Brooklyn James was one of two people killed in Thursday's crash that ended following a chase with police in Madison, Ind.
Brooklyn James was one of two people killed in Thursday's crash that ended following a chase with police in Madison, Ind. (Source: Family photo)
Tyler Cooley died when the car he was a passenger in slammed into a utility pole following chase with police in Madison, Ind., on Thursday.
Tyler Cooley died when the car he was a passenger in slammed into a utility pole following chase with police in Madison, Ind., on Thursday. (Source: Family photo)
ISP: Teen driver involved in wreck that killed his 2 friends did not have a license

Also Friday, Wheeles shared a statement with media that listed the names of the victims. Blake Coombs, 18, was the driver of the vehicle, the statement said. Coombs, who also went by the name Blake Eisenhower, did not have a license to drive, Wheeles said.

Southwestern High School Superintendent Jeff Bates told WAVE 3 News reporter Sean Baute that one of the students killed was senior Tyler Cooley, also 18. Cooley was in the front passenger seat at the time of the crash. Brooklyn James, 19, was in the back seat and also was killed.

Coombs was airlifted to UofL Hospital. Wheeles said later Friday afternoon that Coombs was in critical condition, but had been stabilized.

Wheeles also told WAVE 3 News reporter Nick Picht that at one point during the chase, something was thrown from the car that was evading police, but Wheeles did not say what it was.

“You know, it’s not typical for someone to throw something out the vehicle, obviously, unless they don’t want us to find it," Wheeles said. "So we have to track down what it was that was thrown out and determine if it was drug-related or stolen property or anything along those lines.”

He also said he didn’t know how Coombs, Cooley, and James were connected. He said the car was initially pulled over for a traffic infraction, and that officers attempted to stop the car before Coombs lost control.

“We did attempt to place tire-deflation devices on the roadway to get the car to become disabled and stop, which is what typically happens," Wheeles said. "It does not appear as if the vehicle struck those when they were set out.”

No law enforcement agents were injured.

Because of the tragedy, Southwestern High School has canceled Friday night’s Homecoming game and dance.

Indiana State Police detectives are investigating.

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