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Posted by on Tuesday, May 15th, 2018 @ 11:14 am.

SO. ILL. - Multiple counties in three states were involved in what was at times a high-speed chase that started about 5:40 p.m. Monday, May 14, when a man from McLeansboro drove off from a Hardin County traffic stop.

Hardin County Deputy Donnie Vaughn was the one who met the truck, a silver-on silver 1991 Chevy half-ton 5-speed pickup, being driven by Mike Kennedy, 47, who was driving revoked and appeared to be intoxicated. 

The traffic stop, however, was initiated for speeding. So when Vaughn had Kennedy pulled over, Kennedy took off driving and went into Pope. 

Hardin County Sheriff JT Fricker said that Kennedy got mile and a half to two miles into Pope when he  “spun around and hit Donnie’s squad, disabling it.”

Fricker said Vaughn radioed out and Fricker himself arrived quickly; in the interim, other counties had been notified and were already in pursuit out of Pope, through Hardin and up into Saline. Vaughn declined to go to any hospital to be checked out, instead hopping into the car with Fricker, who took off in pursuit of Kennedy.

They were joined by Saline and Carrier Mills officers, then Gallatin as Kennedy (and the trail of squad cars behind him) got onto Illinois Route 13 up in Saline and headed due east into that riverside county. Shawneetown Police joined in as the chase headed toward the state line. Once it crossed into Kentucky, their county and state police joined in the pursuit.

“We stayed on Route 56 through Kentucky, into Henderson County, and all the way into Evansville,” Fricker said, noting that Evansville Police tried two different spots with stop stick spikes…which Kennedy was able to evade, both times.

“It’s like he’d done this before,” Fricker noted.

The “road restriction” Evansville PD had set up a little further past the stop sticks, however, is what eventually got Kennedy; he wrecked the truck, and Evansville took him into custody.

“That old truck,” Fricker said, “when he went over Womble Mountain Trail, we followed the path he took, and he was leaving parts behind on the trail.

“That truck looked like a turd, but it still had something in it,” Fricker said. “If he hadn’t wrecked, it would’ve been one of those things where he might’ve kept going til he ran out of gas.”

Since the ramming of the squad car took place in Pope, there’s likely to be charges there, but primarily, charges will at least begin in Hardin where the incident started with the alleged run from the law; Fricker said State’s Attorney Daniel Cockrum has the report and while there’s nothing official yet, it’s fair to say Kennedy is facing multiple felonies, and at least a DUI. Each county Kennedy passed through could file charges against him, if for nothing more than Fleeing and Eluding, through which costs of the chase can be brought in as fines and fees and the counties can recoup expenses.

Fricker said that while their county’s radio traffic is often swallowed up by the hills, they were able to stay in contact with dispatch located in Elizabethtown, as well as by cell phone, and the radios of course began to work better once the chase got up out of the hills, so each squad could stay in contact with each other.

“Traffic was broken at times,” Fricker said, “but we could make out what everyone was saying.”

Deputy Donnie Vaughn is fine, but his car is not. The squad will have to have a new hood, right front fender and door, and the impact was so intense that it actually broke the tie rod.

But Vaughn, who was described by Fricker as “old school” when it comes to law enforcement, was “jarred,” he told Fricker, and he’ll be okay.


Short URL: https://www.disclosurenewsonline.com/?p=102722

Posted by on May 15 2018. Filed under Breaking, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Indiana, Kentucky, Pope, Saline. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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