Friday afternoon a LCSO deputy was on U.S. 36 a east of Chillicothe responding to a non-urgent call for service west of Wheeling. Deputy Stafford was east bound and was nearly struck head-on by a fast moving picking traveling west in the west bound lanes of U.S. 36 that jumped the median into the east bound lanes of 36 west of Wheeling.
Deputy Stafford took evasive action and got into the westbound lanes with emergency equipment activated and notified dispatch of the dangerous action. The suspect vehicle continued west in the east bound lanes of 36 at a very high rate of speed. Numerous vehicles fortunately avoided head-on traffic collision from the suspect driver. Deputy Stafford was attempting to give warning to east bound traffic displaying while he was driving west in the west bound lanes of 36. Other officers were attempting to get into position to assist. The suspect continued at a high rate of speed in the wrong lane until west of U.S. 65 and Chillicothe where he jumped the median and continued on at a very high rate of speed well over 100 miles per hour but now in the west bound lanes of 36.
Dispatch notified the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Caldwell County Sheriff. Deputy Stafford ended the chase west of Utica as the vehicle continued at a very high rate of speed and was distancing himself from our deputy and getting out of direct sight.
A short while later we learned the MSHP checked a vehicle of similar description on U.S. 36 at 108 miles per hour somewhere east of Hamilton. An unknown officer used spike strips to stop the vehicle. Last we heard there allegedly may be controlled substance(s) involved and/or in the vehicle. An ambulance was summoned to check the suspect driver.
Our staff is still collecting information and will also seek criminal charge(s) in Livingston County. MSHP and respective agencies are handling the situation in Dekalb County in or near Cameron.
We are extremely thankful that no one was hurt during this incident. At the time of this press release we cannot release any name of suspect as we have not made a custodial arrest.
Sheriff Steve Cox