Police: 19-year-old drowns in Wicomico River early Tuesday morning


SALISBURY, Md. – Early Tuesday morning, a police chase in Salisbury took a tragic turn when a teenage suspect jumped into the Wicomico River. Investigators say that 19-year-old Jakeem Jackson lost his life when he failed to safely cross the water and now an independent investigation is underway.

According to police, it started at around 2 a.m. when a deputy stopped a car at the intersection of Route 13 and Carroll Street for failing to turn off it’s high-beams while approaching traffic. The driver, 19-year-old Jakeem Jackson, pulled into a parking lot in the 100 block of Carroll Street and immediately ran off.

Sheriff Mike Lewis with the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office said, “Shortly after the traffic stop, the driver exited the drivers door of the vehicle and fled on foot.”

The deputy then chased Jackson behind the La Quinta Hotel and once he was out of the deputy’s view, police say Jackson jumped into the river.

The deputy ran out onto a foot bridge that would have allowed the deputy to wait for Jackson on the other side, however Jackson began struggling to remain afloat. Before the deputy could assist, Jackson slipped beneath the water and the deputy could not see him anymore.

After approximately 90 minutes of searching the waters, a Fire Department dive team found Jackson’s body at around 3:30 a.m.

Police believe that Jackson did not fall into the river by accident. They instead believe he jumped into the river in a direct attempt to evade police.

Sheriff Lewis said, “We know he jumped into the river. He did more than fall in, because he was already midway across the river when the deputy spotted him.”

Police believe the suspect took off running after the traffic stop because the car he was driving wasn’t his.

Sheriff Lewis explained, “It had been loaned out in exchange for crack cocaine according to the registered owner which is a common occurrence. It’s what we call a crack rental.”

This isn’t the first time Jackson has fled from police. He was due in court on Monday for eluding officers in a separate case.

Sheriff Lewis says they are now working with the deputy and witnesses to get to the bottom of what happened early Tuesday morning.

The Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office has requested the assistance of the Talbot County Sheriff’s Office in conducting an independent death investigation.

Categories: Local News, Maryland