Maryland or Bust(ed): Driver Nabbed Going Over 160 MPH in Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
maryland or bust ed driver nabbed going over 160 mph in dodge challenger srt

Indiana State Police proudly announced the capture of a speed demon who was ripping down the highway at over twice the legal limit. The diver, 38-year old J. Jesus Duran Sandoval, was allegedly trying to break the sound barrier on the Indiana Toll Road Tuesday evening when he hurtled past an officer at an extremely high rate of speed.

State Trooper Dustin Eggert, who was merging back into traffic after helping a broken down motorist near the 45 mile marker, took chase but found the 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat difficult to keep up with. At one point he found himself driving 150 miles an hour, noting that the vehicle he was pursuing continued to pull away as he radioed for backup.

Eggert eventually caught up to the Hellcat after it became blocked by two semis driving next to each other. The official stop occurred 11 miles after the initial encounter. According to the press release, Sandoval — a resident of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin — admitted he actually exceeded 160 mph during some points of the trip and was “just trying to get to Maryland.”

While there are definitely safer ways to make that journey, it would be hypocritical for me many of us to criticize Sandoval for speeding during a lengthy road trip through the Midwest. Obviously, 160 mph is a bit excessive, but let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Truth be told, it probably would have been safer for Eggert to have hung back after radioing ahead than entering into a high-speed chase. Police pursuits have killed thousands of innocent bystanders over the years. But Eggert operated within the scope of the law and Indiana has some of the most boring, arrow-straight, wide-open roads in the entire country. If we aren’t going criticize Sandoval for speeding, we certainly can’t condemn the officer that chased him on his home turf.

Besides, the Indiana State Police seems very proud of its catch. The press release even makes mention that the agency “tamed” the Hellcat and provided photographic proof that it was indeed the 707-horsepower Dodge. It’s akin to a fisherman reeling in a 20-pound bass, and we can’t begrudge them their trophy.

The troopers arrested Sandoval on a preliminary charge of reckless driving and chauffeured him to the LaPorte County Jail. Still, the Indiana State Police conceded that all suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. It also said this was the second incident in the last two weeks where a driver was nabbed traveling in excess of 130 miles per hour on the Indiana Toll Road. Noting the catastrophic nature of a crash at that speed, the department said it is dedicated to traffic enforcement on all of the state’s roads and will take necessary action.

[Images: Indiana State Police]

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  • Akear Akear on Mar 24, 2018

    A lot of helicopters can't go that fast. I guess police departments would be wise to purchase Hellcats. In these situations a Crown Vic would be useless.

  • Conslaw Conslaw on Mar 26, 2018

    Let's separate the theoretical wisdom of going 150-160MPH, from the real world of Indiana roads in March. I haven't been on the Toll Road this month, but the rest of the roads in the state are just a mess of potholes. I have gone under the speed limit most of this month for that reason alone.

  • Arthur Dailey This car is also in my all time favourite colour combination for 1970s' Town Cars. The black exterior with the deep red (burgundy) interior. Even took my driving test in one. The minute that the driving examiner saw the car I knew that I had passed. He got in and let out a long sigh and started asking about the car. My Old Man always had a Town Car in that black/burgundy colour combination for 'business meetings' that required the use of a back seat for passengers. No way that his full sized associates could fit in the back of a Mark IV or V. So I also have quite a bit of driving time behind the wheel of Town Cars. Just add in the 450 cid engine and the 'optional' continetal hump and I would love to have one of these in my driveway.
  • Art Vandelay 15k for some old rusty 80s junk that is slower to 60 than the Exxon Valdez? Pass. Plus no TikTok on the old Mercedes
  • JMII I know people behind me get POed when I refuse to turn (right or left) depending on traffic. Even my wife will scream "just go already" but I tend err on the side of waiting for a gap that gives me some cushion. It's the better safe then sorry approach which can be annoying for those behind. Oh well.
  • Bobbysirhan Next thing you know, EV drivers will be missing the freedom to travel on their own schedules instead of their cars'.
  • Cprescott I'm not surprised by this behavior - it is consistent with how owners of Honduhs, Toyoduhs, or Mazduhs drive. Without fail, these are the consistently obtuse drivers on the road.