Three people were injured in a one-vehicle crash Monday afternoon following a police pursuit from Jefferson County to Washington County.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the crash occurred when Aaron Wilson, 21, of Potosi, was driving his Chevrolet Impala northbound on Highway 47 at Click Road too fast while approaching a curve. The vehicle went off the left edge of the road, overturned and became engulfed in flames.
Wilson was wearing his seat belt and was taken to St. Anthony’s Medical Center with moderate injuries. His passengers were not wearing their seat belts. Jessica Weens, 28, of Festus, was airlifted by Air Evac to Mercy Hospital-St. Louis with serious injuries and Dylan Greer, 26, of De Soto, was taken to St. Anthony’s Medical Center by Washington County Ambulance with moderate injuries.
Missouri State Highway Patrol Spokesperson Cpl. Juston Wheetley said the patrol has determined De Soto Police Department was in pursuit with the vehicle and they were on Highway 47 just north of Route H.
“The driver lost control on the curve, went off the roadway and overturned,” Wheetley said. “The frontseat passenger and the backseat passenger were both ejected. The driver was the only one wearing a seat belt and when the vehicle came to rest, the driver exited on his own. The vehicle then caught fire.”
“They are trying to get the VIN (vehicle identification number) on the vehicle right now,” said Wheetley. “Since the vehicle burnt up they are having a hard time trying to identify it and it’s holding up the report.”
Wheetley added the trooper investigating the crash told him they were traveling at a speed high enough that they weren’t safely able to negotiate the curve.
In an interview Monday afternoon, Washington County Sheriff Zach Jacobsen said his office was contacted by dispatch at 1 p.m. in regard to assisting another agency.
“Information was relayed that the De Soto Police Department was following a vehicle ... just following it, not chasing it ... southbound on Highway 21,” Jacobsen said. “They were requesting one of our deputies to respond and stop the vehicle, from what I understand.”
Jacobsen said as they were responding to the original call to assist, at 1:10 p.m. they were dispatched to a motor vehicle accident with injuries and fire.
“The De Soto dispatch said the officer was just following, not chasing,” said Jacobsen. “When we got called to the wreck it involved the same car and De Soto PD was behind it. It was crashed and there were three critically injured people. I believe one woman and two men.”
He said they handed the investigation over to the Missouri State Highway Patrol concerning the crash and at the time they were receiving conflicting information as to whether or not De Soto Police were chasing them.
“We were not engaged in any pursuit activities or any type of enforcement activities,” said Jacobsen. “We simply responded to the original call of stopping the car for them and then it was upgraded to an accident with injuries. My deputy on the scene said one of them is very critical.”
Wheetley said he wasn’t sure if the patrol was going to have any charges against the driver, but De Soto will.