Man Extricated From Vehicle After High Speed Crash Running From Police in Menard County

By Benjamin Cox on September 17, 2022 at 10:39am

A Petersburg man had to be rushed to an area hospital after his vehicle crashed in rural Menard County after fleeing a traffic stop.

According to the Menard County Sheriff’s Office, at approximately 9:50PM Friday, a Menard County Sheriff’s Deputy was on patrol eastbound on Illinois Route 123 west of Five Points Street, about 2 miles east of Tallula, when the deputy observed another vehicle approaching from the rear of his vehicle at a high rate of speed.

The vehicle, a red Ford passenger car, overtook and passed the deputy continuing eastbound at reported speeds above 100 miles per hour. The report says the deputy attempted to stop the vehicle but the vehicle fled. The driver continued his attempt to flee from the deputy, crossing Illinois Route 97 and then traveling east on Gudgel Avenue for a short distance before leaving the roadway and overturning the vehicle south of Sawmill Lane, about 1 mile south of Lewisburg.

The deputy requested assistance from EMS and Fire Rescue as he attempted to render aid to the driver who was entrapped in the overturned vehicle.

The driver, later identified as 28 year old Justin M. Thornley of Petersburg, was extricated from the vehicle and transported to a Springfield area hospital for serious injuries. His current status is unknown this morning.

Thornley was cited for multiple violations, including driving under the influence of alcohol and fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer. Additional charges are pending after review by the Menard County State’s Attorney. The sheriff’s office was assisted at the scene by the Illinois State Police, Petersburg Police, Athens Police, Menard County Rescue Squad, Petersburg Rural Fire Department, Menard EMS, and Tallula Fire Department.