NewsMontana and Regional News


Sheriff releases name of the man who died after a police chase in Missoula

Target Range Pursuit
Posted at 11:56 AM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 17:13:45-04

MISSOULA — Authorities have identified Jade Champagne of East Helena as the man who died following a police chase in Missoula.

Missoula County Sheriff T.J. McDermott says that Champagne, 33 years old, died following the chase that ended when the man’s car went into a pond near Target Range School.

Missoula Police Department spokeswoman Lydia Arnold says the incident began on 11th Street West after Champagne failed to stop for a routine traffic stop.

Officers lost sight of the vehicle for a short period of time before the vehicle was then spotted by officers, according to Arnold.

The driver eventually stopped in the Target Range neighborhood before he eventually drove off once again.

Arnold says MPD then decided to terminate the chase. However, officers later saw a man get out of the vehicle after it crashed into a pond at a quarry behind the elementary school.

Arnold says officers gave verbal commands to the driver as he started swimming in the water away from police.

The man went underwater and a Missoula County Search and Rescue dive team eventually located his body.

The official cause of death has not yet been released.

"Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends during this difficult time," Sheriff McDermott said in a statement.

The Montana Division of Criminal Investigation is continuing to investigate the incident.