K9 Officer reunites with Lake St. Louis officer after crash involving suspected drunk driver
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Five police officers were hurt after a serious crash on I-70 in Maryland Heights Wednesday morning around 1:45 a.m.
Three officers with Lake Saint Louis PD and two from St. Charles County police working with the Auto Task Force were blocking two lanes of traffic on eastbound I-70 when a dark Jeep Grand Cherokee hit them. Police tell News 4 that three police cars were parked with their lights on and two officers were outside their squad cars when the Jeep hit the back of one of the squad cars. That squad car then spun counterclockwise, hitting two other squad cars and the two officers. An officer driving one of the hit squad cars was ejected.
All of the officers were transported to a hospital. The three Lake Saint Louis officers suffered serious injuries, the two officers from St. Charles County suffered minor injuries. A Lake Saint Louis K-9 was taken to a veterinary hospital.
The public information officer with St. Charles County police told News 4 Wednesday their two officers are out of the hospital and doing well. Thursday afternoon, the Lake Saint Louis Police Department said K9 Officer Bach had been released from his veterinary hospital stay and was reunited with his partner, Officer Fisher, who has also been released.
Now, the St. Charles Community is extending their love and prayers for the Lake St. Louis police community.
“We try to gather as much information as you can, and you try to be there for the families. It’s a matter of everybody comes together to try to support each other,” said Chris Digiuseppi, Lake St. Louis Police Chief. “That’s the way it is in law enforcement. That’s the way it is with community and this is no different.”
A Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper confirmed that a 2-year-old girl inside the Jeep was also taken to a hospital. She has also been released with minor injuries.
Wednesday afternoon, the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office issued charges for 31-year-old Matthew Charles Jones of O’Fallon, MO. He faces five counts of DWI - serious or physical injury to law enforcement, one count of endangering the welfare of a child creating a substantial risk, one count of failing to yield to an emergency vehicle displaying a red/blue light, and one count of driving with a revoked or suspended license.
Jones’s bond is currently set at $1 million.
“It’s disturbing when you get those calls in the middle of the night and all you have is some basic information,” said Digiuseppi regarding the condition of his officers. “We’re still encouraged with hopefully a positive outcome. And thoughts and prayers from the community would be greatly appreciated,” said Digiuseppi.
St. Charles County Police say they initiated a pursuit with the help of members of the Auto Theft Task force from Lake St. Louis prior to the crash. They were apprehending a suspect named Mah’keem Ahmad White and in the process of finishing up that scene on I-70 in Maryland Heights when the crash involving Jones happened.
News 4 is awaiting surveillance video from St. Charles County Police from the pursuit and have made a formal request for video from the crash that followed, though a spokesperson for the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorneys Office told News 4 they do not release evidence pending an investigation.
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