Around The County

    A Collinsville man was arrested last week after he led police on a chase from Marion County into Aviston.
    Michael Holmes, 28, was charged in Marion County Circuit Court with numerous charges following a pursuit that began in Central City last Thursday. 
    It was reported that three individuals were involved in the pursuit last Thursday morning that started in Central City and continued westbound on Old Route 50, ending in Aviston.
    Holmes, the driver of a minivan, was arrested and charged with aggravated fleeing and eluding and aggravated driving under the influence of drugs, both Class 4 felonies, and reckless conduct, a Class A misdemeanor. 
    He was also charged with reckless driving, operation of an uninsured motor vehicle, improper traffic lane usage, avoiding traffic control signals and speeding 55 miles per hour in a 35-mile per hour zone.
    According to police, the incident started when  three people allegedly jumped into a blue Dodge minivan following a fight at a home in Central City, where police were called.
    The van came nearly head-on into a police officer's squad vehicle and went across a yard to get past the squad car.
    The pursuit then went north onto U.S. Route 51 into Sandoval, where officers reported that numerous items of drug paraphernalia were being tossed from the van.
    It was reported that the van crossed the center line and forced traffic onto the shoulder during the chase as well.
    The chase then continued westbound on Old Route 50 into Clinton County, with speeds exceeding 80 miles per hour.
    The pursuit proceeded west on Old 50 through Beckemeyer and into Breese, where police  officers deployed stop sticks.
    The van struck the stop sticks, however, the van did not stop and continued to flee, shredding the front tires and exposing the rims.
    The van slowed and finally stopped just east of Aviston, where police were able to box the vehicle in and three males, including Holmes, were taken into custody.
    A passenger in the vehicle, Blake Shaffron, 26, of Odin was wanted by Centralia Police in connection to an unrelated violation of an order of protection. The third person was not arrested.
    Deputies from Clinton County and Marion County sheriff's department assisted Central City, Breese and Illinois State Police in the arrests.

50crossing    The Illinois Department of Transportation, weather permitting, will close Old U.S. Route 50 from Shattuc Road to Shattuc Road/TR 206A near Shattuc, on Monday, April 6 from 8 a.m. and continuing until Friday, April 10 at 3 p.m. for rehabilitative work of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad crossing.
    A marked detour will be in place to safely guide motorists around the closure.
    Motorists can expect delays and should allow extra time for trips through this area.
    To avoid the work area, when feasible, use of alternate routes should be considered. Drivers are urged to pay close attention to changed conditions and signs in the work zones, obey the posted speed limits, refrain from using mobile devices and be alert for workers and equipment.
    For IDOT District 8 updates, follow them on Twitter at @IDOTDistrict8 or view area construction details on IDOT's traveler information map on GettingAroundIllinois.com.
    Clinton County engineer Dan Behrens, at a January county board meeting, was asked about the railroad crossing's deterioration, but he did not have an answer, other than the railroad does not communicate with the county engineer's office on that matter.
    District 4 board member Keith Nordike, at the same meeting, said he had spoken with John Saladino, a rail safety specialist with the Illinois Commerce Commission, about that issue.
    In a note from Nordike from Sept. 18, 2019, he wrote that the county was "still having problems with the R&R crossing on Hwy 50 & Shattac. Damage to cars. Police have responded many times due to this. Please get someone out there. They have patched it twice, have not fixed the issue." 
    Nordike mentioned that it had been patched once; District 1 board member Nelson Heinzmann said it had been patched more than once, and recently due to the deterioration and accidents at that spot.
    Nordike last year said, in communications with IDOT officials, they would not allow work on that crossing to take place, with the then-closure of Illinois Route 161 at Crooked Creek for the replacement of the bridges there.
    When that work had been completed and the road reopened, IDOT would allow work on the Shattuc railroad crossing to start.

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