INGHAM COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) – An inmate is dead tonight after escaping from a moving jail van yesterday afternoon.
21-year-old Marquis Oliver was being transferred from Veterans Memorial Courthouse in Lansing to the Ingham County Jail in Mason when he jumped out of the van on U.S. 127.
Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth held a press conference today where he explained just how Oliver was able to slide open the door and jump out.
He says his department is working to make sure a situation like this never happens again.
“Yesterday we obviously had a tragedy happen on my watch as sheriff,” said Wriggelsworth.
Many questions were answered today about how Ingham County inmate Marquis Oliver escaped from a moving jail van yesterday.
“As soon as the alarm came on, Mr. Oliver jumped out of the van,” said Wriggelsworth.
Sheriff Wriggelsworth says the inmates were traveling from Lansing to Mason when Oliver grabbed the handle, slid open the door, and jumped out.
“That handle just never got disengaged,” said Wriggelsworth.
Oliver later died from his injuries.
“The amount of work they did to try to save this young man was nothing short of miraculous,” said Wriggelsworth.
This specific van was going to be used for two purposes: to transport inmates and to take deputies to and from events.
Because of that, it didn’t have a steel cage blocking inmates from getting to door handles like the other vans do.
As for why Oliver jumped:
“What his reason for doing that was only Mr. Oliver will know,” said Wriggelsworth. “On the ride there and on the right back they said there was nothing noteworthy at all about anything.”
The sheriff says he wants to send support to Oliver’s family during this hard time.
“A lot of time in these cases it’s the unknown that people struggle with and I thought it was important for them to know what we know so far,” said Wriggelsworth.
The sheriff says he regrets the decision to use that van to transfer inmates.
The Michigan State Police Department is investigating.
Stay with 6 News as this story develops.
ORIGINAL STORY: An Ingham County Jail inmate who attempted to escape from a transport van while traveling on US-127 Wednesday has died of his injuries.
Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth tells 6 News that Marquis Oliver, 21, managed to open the sliding door on the van just after 2:00 p.m. while the van was transporting inmates from court in Lansing to the Ingham County Jail in Mason.
Oliver had been lodged at the Ingham County Jail on a variety of charges since January 2019.
Oliver was critically injured and lifesaving measures were attempted by several police officers.
According to the sheriff, it does not appear the Oliver was struck by any vehicles, rather his injuries were a result of him jumping from the van.
The Michigan State Police we called to the scene to investigate the incident and their investigation is still continuing.