SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – A terrifying scene on Saturday could have turned out much worse as a police chase traveled across county lines. A Salem police officer made a daring move to stop the pursuit.
Late Saturday night, the Salem Police Department received a call from the Alliance Police Department that a high-speed chase was heading into town.
“The time we were notified until the pursuit ended was three minutes, and that was before they got into Salem,” said Salem Police Chief JT Panezott.
It happened at the intersection of State Street and Ellsworth Avenue — one of the city’s busiest intersections. They were notified that, at times, the car was traveling over 100 miles per hour.
“Our units headed towards the west end of town where the vehicle was entering. They were unable to deploy stop stick due to the speed of the vehicle already entering the city,” Chief Panezott said.
The driver almost crashed into one cruiser. Officer Samantha Collins attempted to slow the car down by entering the intersection.
“Patrolman Collins entered his lane to try to get him to slow down and realized he was not going to slow down. So she tried to get back out of the lane and the collision occurred,” Chief Panezott said.
Leaving the cruiser totally damaged. The driver was Duane Parson of Lansing, Michigan. Chief Panezott said the driver didn’t try to flee and had to be cut out by the fire department.
Parson was taken to Aultman Hospital in Alliance.
On a normal Saturday night in Salem, there might not be many people on the streets, but because of Freed Fest going on this past weekend, it’s fair to think that Officer Collins saved at least one life.
“If that vehicle would have went through there at 100 miles per hour, there’s a very good chance someone would have gotten killed,” Chief Panezott said.
Chief Panezott said Officer Collins did not go against any policies, saying he was OK with her split-second decision. Officer Collins is already back to work.
“She was treated and released at the hospital that night, continued on with her shift and she came back to work the next day. She’s pretty tough,” Chief Panezott said.
Chief Panezott said she had an abrasion on her elbow from her airbag.
Parson is facing multiple charges, including a third-degree felony of failure to comply.