Driver Crashes During Pursuit

ST. MARYS — A Mercer County woman faces a slew of criminal charges after she allegedly led officers on a pursuit that reached speeds of 70 mph.

According to a report from the St. Marys Police Department, at 3:46 a.m. Sunday, an officer observed a white Ford van operating without its headlights on. The officer attempted to make a traffic stop, but the driver did not stop and led officers on a pursuit down South Street and Webb Street.

The driver approached Greenville Road, and failed to negotiate a curve in the road. The driver went onto private property and crashed into a grain bin — doing severe damage to the vehicle and the bin.

According to online court records, the driver, Latisha L. Parker, 22, of Celina, was charged with fleeing and eluding, a third-degree felony, possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony, and possession of drug abuse instruments, a second-degree misdemeanor.

St. Marys Police Chief Mark Ernst said it was fortunate no bystanders were injured as a result of the pursuit.

“Even at that hour it’s dangerous,” Ernst said. “Going 70 mph on the surface streets in town does not give people much time to react. It was very dangerous.”

Auglaize County Municipal Court Judge Gary Herman set Parker’s bond at $100,000 with a 10 percent cash provision. She is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing at 4 p.m. April 30. Further prosecution on the felony charges must be done in Common Pleas Court. A case can make it into Common Pleas Court if it is bound over by a Municipal Court judge or an indictment by a grand jury.