OKEECHOBEE — We previously reported a single-vehicle crash on Hwy 98 North.
We now have all the information from the investigation to give you the whole story.
The Highlands County Sheriffs recently attempted to apprehend a Sebring resident who was wanted for active warrants on Burglary of a Structure and Grand Theft Auto charges. However, the suspect chose to flee toward Okeechobee County after attempting to hit a deputy and speeding south on Highway 98 at over 110 miles per hour.
The Okeechobee units set up Stop-Sticks at the intersection of 700A and Hwy 98N.
Stop-sticks were successfully deployed, deflating one of the rear tires of the suspect's vehicle. Despite the blown tire, the suspect continued to drive south, reaching speeds of 97 miles per hour.
In order to ensure the safety of the public, patrol, and specialty units were deployed to divert traffic away from the roadway. They also deployed another set of Stop Sticks to the south of Dixie Ranch Acres.
To avoid the second set of "sticks," the suspect drove off the shoulder in the Northbound lane without slowing down.
However, this reckless maneuver caused the suspect vehicle to lose control and crash through a barbed-wire fence, resulting in the suspect being ejected from the vehicle after it flipped several times.
EMS arrived after the driver was secured and confirmed to be the sole occupant. The suspect was stabilized by EMS for transport via AeroMed.
It is crucial to inform people about road closures, but the safety of our community should always come first. We are grateful to every agency personnel involved in handling this incident from start to finish.
The suspect, once released, will be apprehended for his previous warrants and will also be charged with additional offenses in Highlands and Okeechobee counties.