Two Greene County police officers were sent to area hospitals after a high speed chase through three counties last night. In a report from Greene County Sheriff Rob McMillen this afternoon, the outline of a 3 county high speed chase resulted in minor injuries to two police officers and the apprehension of 2 individuals was described.
An all-points-bulletin was issued by the Illinois State Police District 18 office in Litchfield at 9:05 last night about a gray Cadillac registered out of Ballwin, Missouri that had eluded capture from Jersey County Sheriff’s deputies. In a phone call this afternoon with the Jersey County Sheriff’s Office, the deputy had attempted to pull over a vehicle for traveling at a high rate of speed and having just one front headlight. The deputy had also received a report from the Madison County Sheriff’s office that the vehicle may have been involved in a retail theft incident at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Godfrey. Jersey County followed the vehicle to the Greene County line and terminated the pursuit. According to the ISP APB, the suspect was believed to be armed with a handgun.
According to McMillen, Greene County Sheriff’s Deputies and Carrollton Police picked up the pursuit at approximately 8:49PM of a 2005 Cadillac STS on U.S. Route 67 that continued northbound out of Carrollton towards White Hall. The pursuit entered White Hall and a White Hall Police Officer began pursuit of the suspected vehicle as well.
As the pursuit came upon the junction of U.S. 67 and Illinois Route 106 on the north edge of White Hall, a police officer with the Roodhouse Police Department who was driving southbound on U.S. 67 attempted to edge the suspect’s vehicle off the road, but the Cadillac swerved away from the maneuver. The Greene County Sheriff’s Deputy and the Roodhouse Police officer’s vehicles collided head on, causing both vehicles to be disabled.
52 year old Cliff Elliott of the Sheriff’s Department, who was driving a 2016 Chevy Tahoe K9 unit and 36 year old Josh Burton of the Roodhouse Police Department were the officers involved in the collision. The White Hall Fire Department responded to the scene and administered emergency first aid to both officers while awaiting the arrival of the Greene County Ambulance Service. Deputy Elliott was taken to Boyd Hospital in Carrollton and was treated for minor injuries and released early this morning. Officer Burton was transported to Passavant Area Hospital where he was also treated and released this morning. Deputy Elliott’s K9 partner Neko was also in the vehicle at the time of the crash and sustained no injuries. Both squad cars sustained extensive front end damage and were towed from the scene. The Illinois State Police were summoned to handle an investigation of the squad car accident.
The Carrollton and White Hall Police continued pursuit of the Cadillac northbound on U.S. 67 towards Roodhouse. The pursuit continued through Roodhouse and approximately 2 miles north of town, the suspect vehicle left the roadway and drove into a recently harvested field. The occupants then left the vehicle and took off on foot. After a brief foot chase, two men were apprehended by White Hall and Carrollton Police officers. The Greenfield Police also arrived and assisted further at the scene.
53 year old Kenneth L. Whitehorn of St. Louis and 40 year old Augustus L. Bennett also of St. Louis were booked into the Greene County Jail a short time later. Whitehorn is being held on charges of aggravated fleeing and eluding police, possession of stolen property between $500 and $10,000, and several traffic violations in relation to the vehicle pursuit. Bennett is being held for unlawful possession of stolen property in excess of $500 to $10,000. Neither men were injured in the pursuit. No weapon was found on either individual at the time of the arrest nor were any found in the vehicle, according to McMillen’s report. The car was also allegedly fixed with stolen Missouri license plates. Both men are being held pending a hearing in Greene County Court. The Greene County Sheriff’s department is currently working in cooperation with the Madison County Sheriff in the recovery of the stolen merchandise found in the suspects’ vehicle.