Misdemeanor Violation Police Chase Injures Innocent Bystanders

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So unnecessary. This really needs to stop.


Three hospitalized when high-speed chase ends in two-car crash in south Columbia

COLUMBIA — A high-speed chase that began on Interstate 70 near Midway on Wednesday morning resulted in a two-car crash near Providence Road and Nifong Boulevard and ended in the arrest of a Macon man.

The chase began when a Missouri State Highway Patrol airplane pilot witnessed a green Chevrolet pickup speeding east past the 120-mile marker on I-70. Troopers tried to stop the driver — later identified as 24-year-old Michael C. Wills — but he sped away, leading them east on a chase.

Wills exited at Midway, traveled south on Route UU, reached Route K and went back through the Columbia city limits. The highway patrol was assisted during the pursuit by the Columbia Police Department and the Boone County Sheriff’s Department.

Law enforcement attempted to set up spikes to stop Wills at Route K and Providence Road, but the vehicle avoided the spikes and continued driving northbound, eventually crossing into the southbound lanes. The truck then struck a black Acura that was traveling southbound on Providence.

“(Wills) was driving very aggressively before that,” said Highway Patrol Corporal Scott Ballard.

Candice Ward, 27, of Moberly was also in the Chevrolet. Cory Via, 25, of Columbia was driving the Acura. Ward was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, but Wills and Via were not. Both vehicles were totaled.

The three individuals’ injuries were described as moderate to serious. All were taken to University Hospital.

Willis was arrested Wednesday on the following charges:

  • felony resisting arrest
  • two charges of felony assault in the second degree
  • tampering with physical evidence
  • speeding
  • possession of 35 grams or less of marijuana
  • unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia
  • driving while driver’s license is revoked
  • no seat belt
  • no insurance
  • driving in the wrong direction on a divided highway

The speed of the vehicles at the time of the crash is unknown. The investigation is ongoing.

Supervising editor is William Schmitt.

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