WHITE HALL - The White Hall Police Department's normal day changed quickly at 2:54 p.m. on Saturday, December 12, 2020, when they received a call reporting a black 1995 Ford Mustang with Missouri registration was driving recklessly all over the road, northbound on U.S. Route 67, between White Hall and Carrollton.

White Hall Police Chief Luke Coultas said: "A White Hall Police Officer who was traveling southbound on U.S. Route 67 observed a vehicle near the intersection of U.S. 67 and Carlinville Street coming towards him partially in the southbound lane traveling north on the wrong side of the road. The officer observed the vehicle to match the description of the vehicle that was reportedly driving recklessly.

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"The officer turned around to get behind the Mustang attempting to initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle. The Mustang immediately turned West onto West Carlinville Street at a high rate of speed where the officer began pursuing the vehicle. The Mustang was traveling westbound at approximately 65 mph on West Carlinville on the wrong side of the road. The pursuit continued west on West Carlinville Street, approximately 350 Yards west of Hancock Street, where the road makes a 90-degree left turn. The Mustang lost control on this curve causing it to spin around and now facing back eastbound on West Carlinville Street. The officer was able to get turned around and began pursuing the vehicle again at a high rate of speed eastbound on West Carlinville Street.

"The Mustang then approached the intersection of West Carlinville Street and U.S. 67 where it continued eastbound disregarding the stop sign and struck a black 2012 Jeep Patriot, being driven by Rosalind A. Bishop, age 38, of White Hall. The impact caused the Jeep to overturn onto its top. Both vehicles came to a rest in the yard at 270 South Main Street. The two suspects fled on foot out of the vehicle. The driver, 34-year-old, Vincent E. Smith Jr., of St. Louis, Missouri, was taken into custody near the accident scene in the back yard of the residence. The driver of the Jeep Liberty was able to get herself out of the vehicle."

Coultas continued and said: "The White Hall Fire Department and Boyd Memorial Ambulance were summoned to the scene to assist with injuries. The second suspect, Earnest R. Rutherford, age 29, of St. Louis, Missouri, ran on foot east down East Carlinville Street and was taken into custody by police a short time later in the 200 block of Israel Street, approximately five blocks east of the incident."

The Illinois State Police was called to the scene to handle the crash report.

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Bishop was flown to Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, by Survival Flight Helicopter for injuries sustained during the crash. Bishop was treated and later released later that night.

Smith and Rutherford were transported by ambulance to Thomas H. Boyd Memorial Hospital in Carrollton for evaluation. They were both treated and medically released that evening.

Both men were then transported to the Greene County Sheriff’s Department where they were held pending a bond hearing for the following charges:

- Vincent E. Smith Jr. was charged with: Unlawful possession of a firearm by a Felon. The firearm was a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol that was located within the vehicle, Aggravated Driving under the Influence of Drugs, Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and various other traffic offenses related to the pursuit. Smith also had several Missouri Warrants for his arrest.

- Earnest R. Rutherford was charged with Unlawful Use of a Weapon, and Resisting/ Obstructing A Peace Officer.

The Greene County Sheriff’s Office, Roodhouse Police Department, Carrollton Police Department, and the Greenfield Police Department assisted with the incident and apprehension of both subjects.

Coultas closed by saying: "Contrary to multiple social media sources, no police officer was injured, nor were they part of the traffic crash on U.S. 67. The pursuing officers' squad car sustained some minor damage received during the pursuit when the suspect vehicle lost control and spun around, causing the squad car to have to go through a ditch to get turned around."

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