A 21-year-old Tonganoxie man and an 18-year-old Lawrence man were booked into Douglas County Jail early Monday on suspicion of separate alcohol-related traffic offenses at the same intersection of U.S. Highway 24 north of Lawrence.
Dylon Michael Towne, Tonganoxie, was booked into jail, and later released on a $1,000 bond, on suspicion of leaving the scene of an injury accident north of Lawrence and a second-offense driving while intoxicated.
Towne was arrested by a Douglas County Sheriff’s Office deputy shortly after his release from Lawrence Memorial Hospital following a one-person accident at U.S. Highway 24 and Wellman Road on Sunday evening, according to Lt. Steve Lewis, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office.
Lewis said Towne was westbound on Highway 24 at 10:30 p.m. Sunday when he lost control of his 1994 Mercury Topaz and crossed to the south side of the road, striking a utility pole. After the accident, Lewis said, Towne left the vehicle and went to a nearby residence, where he convinced a resident to take him to a relative’s home in Perry. Lewis said Towne’s relative soon became concerned about his condition and contacted Jefferson County medical personnel, who transported Towne to LMH. Lewis said deputies went to LMH with Towne and determined alcohol may have been involved and ordered a blood draw, the results of which are still pending.
Meanwhile, while deputies worked at the scene of the accident, around 12:15 a.m., a vehicle traveling south on Wellman Road at a high speed entered the intersection without stopping for the stop sign at U.S. Highway 24, becoming airborne, according to Sgt. Trent McKinley, a Lawrence Police Department spokesman, who said the vehicle again became airborne after continuing south over the railroad crossing.
Sheriff’s deputies working at the scene of the first accident initially gave chase, but McKinley said police intervened to assist. Lawrence police set up spike strips at Second and Locust streets, which the vehicle soon ran over, continuing south across the Kansas River and later crossing Sixth Street against a flashing red light at high speed. Police eventually stopped the vehicle at Kentucky Street after it crossed Eighth and Vermont streets.
The driver, 18-year-old Turner Davis Miller, told police he fled because he feared the consequences of his actions, McKinley said, and that he needed to get back to his fraternity house because “he had an important paper to turn in before 9 a.m.” Monday.
Police arrested Miller on suspicion of reckless driving, fleeing police and driving while intoxicated. He was later released from Douglas County Jail on a $750 bond.
No one was injured during the pursuit, McKinley said, although the vehicle sustained damage from going airborne twice and running through spike strips.