Fiery end to 100 mph chase
Pursuit after Herington car theft dips into county
In “Dukes of Hazards” fashion, a high-speed chase Monday through southeast Dickinson County and northeast Marion County reached speeds up to 100 mph and ended with a fully engulfed car and two suspects on foot before finally being apprehended by police.
The driver was identified as Matthew J. Leach, 29, of Salina. The passenger was Sarai Angeles, 26, of Salina.
According to Dickinson County sheriff Gareth Hoffman, the chase started at Herington Lake, when one of his deputies spotted a parked vehicle with a Saline County tag and learned it was stolen.
He then spotted a different vehicle with a Saline County tag. The car, not identified as stolen, reportedly contained a male driver and a female passenger, who were thought to be known in the Marion County area.
At 2:30 p.m., Dickinson County notified Marion County that a black 2007 Saturn Ion was being pursued at high speeds as it was about to enter Marion County.
The driver matched the description of the suspect in the theft of the first vehicle, and when the driver refused to stop, a 30-minute chase ensued, first down city streets then hitting gravel roads.
The vehicle entered Marion County on Upland Rd. and traveled through and around the Lost Springs area at speeds up to 100 mph before heading west on 340th Rd.
At that point, Marion County deputies Larry Starkey and Derek Fetrow were still racing to catch up with the suspect, almost 10 miles away.
The car turned north toward Ramona at Quail Creek Rd. At Ramona, the driver turned east, traveling back to US-56/77 and north to Herington but didn’t manage to lose the tail of lights and sirens.
Numerous state troopers from across the area were notified.
The vehicle was tracked as it traversed several Herington streets. The driver was headed out of town on W. Trapp St. when he stopped the vehicle at SW 5th St.
The two occupants leapt from the vehicle on foot and started to run. Both were quickly apprehended, and officers on the scene reported that the vehicle was “fully engulfed” in flame, though the origin of any fire could not be confirmed.
Each was charged with having three outstanding warrants. Leach was also charged with a felony, fleeing and eluding.
Angeles faces no further charges. The theft is still being investigated.