Driver crashes in parking lot in downtown Lawrence following police pursuit

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Article last updated at 10:45 a.m. Monday, April 25:

A driver reportedly fled police late Sunday night, eventually crashing into a pole in the parking lot near Fuzzy’s Taco Shop and the Lawrence Community Building downtown.

A witness at the scene said that no one appeared to be injured, and there were no medics present. Lawrence police Lt. David Ernst said via email Monday morning that based on the information available to him, he did not believe there were any injuries.

The pursuit began after police attempted a stop for a traffic violation near 10th and Massachusetts streets, but the vehicle did not stop, Ernst said. An officer attempted to pursue but was unable to catch up with the vehicle and the pursuit was terminated.

Then another officer spotted the vehicle behind Johnny’s Tavern in North Lawrence and attempted to stop it, Ernst said, but the driver fled southbound on Vermont Street.

Officers deployed spike strips near Sixth and Vermont streets to stop the vehicle, Ernst said. The vehicle continued southbound on Vermont, then struck a utility pole in the parking lot just west of North Park and Massachusetts streets.

The Douglas County jail’s booking log showed Monday morning that a 19-year-old man from Olathe was arrested by Lawrence police on suspicion of driving under the influence, two counts of fleeing or attempting to elude police, possession of a firearm while under the influence, possession of a hallucinogenic drug and paraphernalia, and “duty of driver to report accident with an unattended vehicle/property.” He was being held on $8,950 cash or surety bond.

The case has been submitted to the DA’s office for review, Ernst said.

Lawrence Times community / Contributed Lights flash on emergency vehicles in the parking lot near North Park and Massachusetts streets in downtown Lawrence on Sunday, April 24, 2022.
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