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High speed chase takes police from Tomah to Norwalk

High speed chase takes police from Tomah to Norwalk

Steven Richard West

A 27-year-old Poynette man was referred to the Monroe County District Attorney for third-offense drunk driving after a high-speed chase June 2 south of Tomah.

Steven Richard West was also referred for knowingly fleeing an officer and second-degree recklessly endangering safety.

According to the Tomah Police Department, an officer observed a vehicle operated by West strike the curb of the median on Superior Avenue shortly before 11:30 p.m. Police followed the vehicle and later received a report that West had driven the wrong way on Superior Avenue.

A Tomah officer followed the vehicle on Hwy. 131 south of Tomah and activated lights and sirens near Heritage Avenue in the town of Tomah. West continued moving for more than a minute before coming to a stop near Hobnail Avenue.

The officer exited the squad car. As he began approaching West’s vehicle, West suddenly sped away and reached a speed of 80 mph on wet pavement before turning west on Hwy. 71, where the Wisconsin State Patrol joined the pursuit. West entered the village of Wilton and stopped next to a gas pump at a Cenex store but pulled away before he could be approached by police.

The vehicle continued west on Hwy. 71, again reaching a speed of 80 mph. Despite the “successful deployment” of tire deflation devices by the Monroe County Sheriff’s office, West continued driving on deflated tires into the village of Norwalk, where he encountered multiple power company trucks that had responded to a power outage. West avoided the trucks by driving through a lawn on Main Street.

The chase continued through the village at 20 mph as West attempted to eluded police on shredded tires. The chase ended on North Church Street when he struck a parked vehicle.

Police surrounded the vehicle and ordered West to exit. He was unable to open the damaged driver’s side door but was able to exit through the passenger door.

The report says West told police he had smoked something but was unsure what it was. Police found a dismantled syringe, a cut off corner of a sandwich bag with residue and a tea cup cooker with residue inside West’s vehicle, but tests for heroin and methamphetamine were inconclusive.

Police declined to conduct a field sobriety test. West was taken to Mayo Health System in Sparta for a blood draw and then transported to the Monroe County Jail.

West was also issued citations for operating left of center, driving the wrong way on a divided highway, unsafe lane deviation and unreasonable/imprudent speed.


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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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