Hourlong chase crosses state line, three counties

Updated: Sep 29, 2021

MOUND CITY – A program meant to reduce erratic or impaired drivers just before the three-day Labor Day weekend turned into an hourlong chase on Friday, Sept. 3, according to a Linn County Sheriff's Office release.

Working on U.S. Highway 69 between the Kansas Highway 152 and Trading Post exits, a deputy attempted and failed to pull over a 2003 Chevrolet Malibu. Instead of pulling over, the driver kept driving down into Bourbon County.

From there, he crossed the state line into Vernon County, Mo., back into Linn County, and finally down into Bourbon County again. While most of the chase was conducted at normal highway speeds, toward the end of the chase a law enforcement official clocked the car at more than 100 mph before it crashed into a ditch near Fort Scott.

The driver managed twice to evade tire deflation devices, and was charged with multiple traffic violations as well as drug charges.

James Woolery of Kansas City, Mo., was booked into the Linn County jail. He was charged with alleged possession of drug paraphernalia; driving with a suspended license, possession of marijuana; failure to stop or obey railroad crossing signal; failure to yield at stop or yield sign; fleeing or attempting to elude; and avoiding tire deflating devices.

He posted bail and was released on Sunday, Sept. 5.

The Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office, the Kansas Highway Patrol, Vernon County Sheriff’s Office and Fort Scott Police Department assisted in the chase. There were no damages to patrol cars and no injuries to anyone involved.

Since this chase was in three counties and two states, Linn County Sheriff’s dispatchers were busy coordinating with agencies in the region to get everyone in place to assist.

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