8/8/2017 4:47:00 PM Truck pursuit ends at front door Juveniles captured after hit-skip wreck, high-speed chase
A vehicle pursuit last Saturday night involving this large box truck and three different Jackson County law enforcement agencies ended with the box truck running off the roadway and onto residential property at 123 South Bennett Ave., and stopping approximately two inches away from the front door of the house. Nobody was injured in the episode and two teenage males who were living in Athens County face charges. (Telegram Photo By Rhonda Burtrand)
The episode started out as a possible stolen-truck case in Athens County last Saturday. It then became a hit-skip wreck in Wellston, followed by a vehicle pursuit on a main highway in Jackson County. Then it climaxed with a high-speed vehicle chase through the streets of Jackson which ended with the truck barely avoiding running through the front door of a residence.
When all the drama and danger was over, the large stolen box truck wound up approximately two inches from the front door of a house at 123 South Bennett Ave. in Jackson and the two juveniles, the 17-year-old male driver and the 16-year-old male passenger who had taken the wild ride, were soon arrested and taken into custody. Fortunately, no one got hurt along the way, including the suspects, pursuing law enforcement officers or innocent motorists and citizens who were encountered along the way.
The episode began when the two juveniles apparently stole a huge box truck in Athens, then wound up in Jackson County on Saturday evening. At 7:52 p.m., the box truck was seen hitting a parked vehicle at 422 E. 6th St. at the Vermont Avenue intersection in Wellston and failed to stop afterwards.
According to a report released by Jackson County Sheriff Tedd Frazier, a motorcyclist who witnessed the hit-skip crash quickly informed law enforcement officers about the situation and provided a description of the large white box truck. The motorcyclist even followed the box truck and later reported it was seen leaving town on State Route 327 North. A short time later, the same eyewitness later reported to the Ohio State Highway Patrol the box truck was heading eastbound on U.S. Route 35 in western Jackson County at the Bronx Corner Road intersection. The efforts of this eyewitness to report the incident and location of the box truck proved to be key to the subsequent apprehension of the juveniles.
Jackson County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to U.S. Route 35 west of Jackson and pulled into the median near Sour Run Road with the intent to try to stop the box truck as it came from the west. However, this effort failed and the truck continued eastbound on U.S. Route 35 toward Jackson. A trooper from the Ohio State Highway Patrol joined what turned out to be the start of what could be called a restrained pursuit with the big truck traveling an estimated 65 to 70 miles per hour in a 60-miles-per-hour speed-limit zone.
A short time later, the box truck driver took the State Route 93 exit and made a left turn toward Jackson with the law enforcement vehicles closed behind. It proceeded into town on Morton Street driving an estimated 65 miles an hour and avoided an Ohio Department of Natural Resources vehicle which attempted to block it. The truck drove left of center as it reached the curve by the Holly Hills Apartments and barely missed causing a head-on collision with a vehicle coming from the opposite direction.
The truck turned left on Chillicothe Street toward town, but a Jackson Police Department cruiser partially blocked its path at the intersection of Chillicothe and Athens streets. The truck attempted to drive around the cruiser, but clipped it in the process, causing minor damage to a left rear portion of the vehicle.
With approximately seven law enforcement vehicles now behind it, the box truck drove at high speeds of an estimated 55 miles per hour on Bridge Street, turned right onto State Street, then made another sharp and quick left turn onto one-way West Street. The huge truck, still driving at high speeds and running stop signs, drove the wrong way for four blocks through a residential area before crossing South Street. It continued down an alley beside Cardo's Pizza to Tropic Street in front of Jackson Middle School.
The truck then turned left onto Trago Avenue beside the middle school and turned right and drove through the middle-school parking lot and into an adjoining alley and headed west for two blocks before the alley came to a dead end at Bennett Avenue. Apparently unable to make a turn at this point, the truck continued straight over the sidewalk and ended up nearly striking a house at 123 South Bennett Ave., the residence of James Turner. The steps in front of the house were damaged as was a hand railing, but the nose of the truck stopped approximately two inches from the front door.
The 17-year-old driver jumped out of the truck, but was captured by a sheriff's office deputy a block away on the back porch of the Ronald Denney residence at 164 South St. The youth's hands were bleeding and he had just discarded his shoes, which were found under porch steps. The 16-year-old passenger did not attempt to flee and was immediately taken into custody.
Sheriff Frazier said the two boys would face charges of Fleeing and Eluding for the vehicle pursuit and Criminal Damaging for the damages done to the Jackson Police cruiser and at the Turner property. The driver could also face hit-skip-related charges in Wellston.
Sheriff Frazier said investigators were still trying to determine all the details involving the juveniles first gaining possession of the truck in Athens County. Frazier did say the truck was a rental vehicle and that it had Indiana license plates on it. The truck had a large cargo department, but was not carrying any cargo and nothing illegal was found inside.
Posted: Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Article comment by:
Thank You for this detailed report of a harrowing experience - thanks to the very alert motorist who first spotted the box truck incident in Wellston and special thanks to all the law enforcement agents who wisely used restraint in bringing this to a safe conclusion. Phew!