Rushville Republican


May 7, 2013

Driver arrested after crashing vehicle

RUSHVILLE — A report of domestic violence in the 800 block of West Seventh Street was received by the Rushville Police Department shortly before 11:30 a.m. Sunday and resulted in officer Jay Griffith responding to the call.   

One of the parties involved in the dispute, later identified as Virgil D. Petro, 38, of Rushville, was attempting to leave the residence in a 1994 Isuzu Rodeo and was confronted by officer Griffith. The officer ordered Petro out of his vehicle; the Rushville man failed to comply with the officer’s request and fled the area at a high rate of speed.

Petro’s vehicle struck a parked Dodge Dakota as it drove away, pursued by the RPD officer.

Speeds in the residential area reached in excess of 70 mph as Petro tried to elude Griffith and additional officers and, in the process, failed to stop at numerous intersections.

The fleeing Isuzu then raced northbound on Sexton Street where the driver failed to negotiate an eastbound turn onto Foster Heights Road. Petro’s vehicle struck a mailbox and a small tree before returning to the roadway and then turned north on SR 3.

Rush County deputy sheriff Duane Raab had placed stop sicks in the roadway near INTAT Precision in an attempt to disable the fleeing vehicle.

Petro had no intention of stopping and turned east on CR 200.

Upon reaching Fort Wayne Road, Petro turned south as additional law enforcement personnel converged on the area.

Stop sticks again were placed in the roadway, this time in the 1100 block of North Fort Wayne Road.

As the vehicle entered Rushville city limits Petro made one final attempt to avoid law enforcement and swerved; this time he was not as successful as the first time.

At a speed of 80+ mph, the vehicle struck a utility pole, downing power lines in the area. The Isuzu began spinning out of control and then struck iron fencing that surrounds Calvary Cemetery at which time it came to a screeching halt.

The force of impact rendered Petro unconscious and disabled his vehicle. Moments later, the Rushville man regained consciousness and refused to comply with law enforcement requests.

As a result of extensive damage, the driver had to be extricated from his vehicle prior to being taken into custody.

Following initial medical care at the scene, Petro was transported to Rush Memorial Hospital where he reportedly refused additional treatment.

He was later transported to the Rush County Jail and faces numerous charges and citations.

Petro was cited for leaving the scene of a property damage accident, failure to stop at a through highway, criminal mischief causing damage (multiple charges), failure to signal a lane charge (multiple charges), driving left of center (multiple charges), speeding, unsafe start, and speeding.

He was arrested on charges of resisting law enforcement, reckless driving and leaving the scene of a property damage accident.

He is being held without a bond being set.

Contact Frank Denzler @ 765.932.2222 x106

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