FAYETTE COUNTY, IL — A 28-year-old Ramsey man, who was arrested following a police chase involving him and a stolen vehicle on Thursday, has been charged with two felony counts in Fayette County Court.
Randal E. Howell was charged Friday in Fayette County Court with Class 4 felony Aggravated Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Police Officer at more than 21 miles per hour over the speed limit and Class 1 felony Aggravated Unlawful Possession of a Stolen Vehicle. Howell is alleged to have stolen a 2015 Chevy Truck Wednesday that served as a maintenance truck for the Vandalia School District. Then on Thursday, Howell is alleged to have been involved in a chase with police that is alleged to have led to an accident on U.S. Route 51 and injured the other driver.
Howell remains in the Fayette County Jail.
(ORIGINAL STORY) — A 28-year-old Ramsey man remains in the Fayette County Jail following his arrest Thursday afternoon involving a police pursuit and crash that sent another man to the hospital with serious injuries. According to the Illinois State Police, Randal E. Howell, of Ramsey, was traveling southbound on Route 51 in a silver 2015 Chevy Silverado when State Police say he crossed the center line and struck a 2016 Chevy Sierra being driven by 49-year-old Ronald D. Seals, of Centralia.
State Police say that Howell fled the scene and Seals was transported via ambulance to a local hospital with serious injuries. Howell was allegedly fleeing from police in connection with a Wednesday vehicle theft. According to Vandalia police, they received a report Wednesday morning that a silver 2015 Chevy Silverado was stolen from the Vandalia High School parking lot. The truck was reportedly a maintenance vehicle owned by the Vandalia School District and surveillance video led to Howell being identified as the suspect. Around 11:45 a.m. Thursday, a Fayette County Sheriff’s Deputy spotted the vehicle in Ramsey and the Deputy attempted to stop the vehicle and says it fled from a traffic stop. The deputy was able to keep sight of the vehicle as it traveled south out of Ramsey through the country. The report says the suspect came to U.S. Route 51 from 2500 Avenue, then went south to 2475 where he turned down a dead-end road. The deputy reportedly attempted to use spike strips on the stolen vehicle but the suspect drove around them and went south on Route 51 where the deputy lost sight of the vehicle.
Then about 2 1/2 miles north of Vera Road a Vandalia officer responding to the pursuit spotted the truck on U.S. 51. As the suspect tried to pass a vehicle just south of Vera Road he apparently sideswiped Seals’ northbound truck. The report says the suspect continued southbound on Thrill Hill Road where officers followed him. Rural EMS responded to the accident and transported Seals to Fayette County Hospital with serious injuries.
Howell was later taken into custody in Montgomery County and is currently being held in the Fayette County Jail on charges of Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding Police and Possession of a Stolen Vehicle.