Chase leaves suspect hurt and patrol cars damaged
A 20-year-old Lawrence man believed to have been driving a stolen truck was injured the morning of April 30 when the vehicle went off US-24 Highway west of Perry and rolled down an embankment, ending a high-speed chase that resulted in damage to three Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department vehicles.
The Kansas Highway Patrol, which investigated the accident, identified the driver of the truck as Dylan Michael Alexander. He was transported by ambulance to Stormont-Vail Hospital in Topeka for treatment.
Alexander, who was wearing his seat belt when the crash occurred, was dismissed from the hospital later in the day and by 3:30 p.m. had been booked into the Jefferson County Jail. He was facing four charges at the time, reckless driving, theft of property/services, fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer, and criminal damage to property.
The KHP’s report said the agency assisted in the pursuit of Alexander, who was driving a 1999 Chevy Tahoe, and that a “vehicle intervention technique” was employed to ultimately bring the eastbound vehicle to a halt. The Tahoe, no longer under the driver’s control, left the roadway and rolled down the south embankment before coming to rest on its right side in a ditch.
The accident happened about 10:30, the location two and a half miles west of Perry.
Sheriff Jeff Herrig said the Tahoe was stolen in Douglas County and that Douglas County authorities had entered Jefferson County to look for the vehicle. He said the Tahoe was spotted on West Lake Road and from there proceeded south to 74th Street, then west to K-4 Highway, then south to US-24.
Herrig reported that as Alexander traveled south on K-4 he crossed into the northbound lane more than once in an attempt to force other motorists off the highway, apparently thinking that if he could cause someone to have an accident the vehicles chasing him would have to stop and deal with the wreck, giving him a better chance of getting away. But the suspect probably didn’t realize that by then multiple law enforcement agencies in northeast Kansas were after him, the sheriff said.
According to Herrig, the decision to use vehicle intervention was made after Alexander was observed traveling east in the westbound lanes of US-24 for some distance. He reported that three vehicles were struck by the Tahoe in the process and that one of them also managed to make contact with it. He said the Tahoe crossed the median and briefly returned to the eastbound lanes before leaving the highway.
“The good thing is no one (in law enforcement) was hurt or killed,” Herrig said last Thursday. “I’m sure he’s (Alexander) sore today because he rolled several times.”
Herrig reported that authorities thought Alexander also might have been in possession of a stolen gun but that a gun was not found in the Tahoe.
The sheriff also reported that one of his department’s vehicles sustained an estimated $6,100 in damage, another an estimated $2,500 in damage and still another an estimated $900 in damage.
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