The Hilliard Division of Police anticipates only misdemeanor charges against a 63-year-old Michigan semitrailer driver who failed to stop during a chase March 15 that lasted about 34 minutes.
The truck was swerving and driving on the left berm during most of the chase.
Multiple police agencies responded to assist Hilliard officers, who were the first to attempt to stop the driver as he entered Hilliard’s jurisdiction driving south on Interstate 270, police Chief Bobby Fisher said.
After multiple 911 calls were received at the Northwest Regional Emergency Communications Center, officers attempted to stop the driver at 7:24 p.m., Fisher said.
Callers described the driver as “erratic,” he said.
“The driver was refusing to comply with our orders to stop and we initiated a pursuit that went about 25 miles starting in Hilliard and continuing around the I-270 beltway,” Fisher said.
It is believed the driver, employed by a Waterford, Michigan, trucking company, had picked up a load of syrup at a bottling plant in east Columbus but it remained unknown March 16 why he apparently was driving in a circle on I-270.
His destination remained unknown March 16, Fisher said.
Police deployed “stop sticks” that flattened multiple tires on the truck but the driver continued moving on rims, Fisher said, though speeds by then had decreased from 65 mph to 25 mph.
Wonder which set of our STOP STICKS took out this front semi truck tire?? We deployed 3 sets last night... pic.twitter.com/aEYzNfba2c— Chief Jim Gilbert (@CHIEFGILBERT1) March 16, 2017
During the pursuit, Fisher said, officers described the driver as looking forward and seldom glancing at pursuing officers, but slowed for officers in front of his truck and stopped when police vehicles boxed him in on I-270 near Main Street on the east side of Columbus.
He was transported to a hospital for evaluation but has been released, police said.
A toxicology report is pending.
Thus far, he has been charged with OVI, failure to comply with an officer and failure to drive within marked lanes, all misdemeanor charges, Fisher said.
His driving record is not yet known, Fisher said.
No felony charges are expected to be filed because the driver’s actions did not pose a threat to public safety or police in a manner to warrant such charges, officer Hyda Slone said.
Fisher said the incident illustrated the great working relationship among law-enforcement agencies in central Ohio.
Officers from Columbus, Grove City, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio State Highway Patrol were involved in the pursuit.