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Benson man charged with felonies after high-speed chase that ended in a slough

Jeffrey Darren Hemmingson

PENNOCK — A 46-year-old man was arrested Thursday after a high-speed chase that started in Pennock and ended in a cattail-filled slough near Benson.

Jeffrey Darren Hemmingson, of Benson, made a first court appearance Friday morning in Kandiyohi County District Court on felony charges of fifth-degree possession of methamphetamine and fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, and a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving.

Unconditional bail for Hemmingson was set at $75,000 and conditional bail at $35,000. His next court appearance is set for July 27.

According to the criminal complaint, the incident started around 7 a.m. in Pennock while law enforcement was executing a search warrant near U.S. Highway 12 and Kandiyohi County Road 7.

At that time, a white, four-door sedan driven by Hemmingson left the residence and went north on County Road 7.

The vehicle was stopped and Hemmingson initially refused to provide the officer with his name and birthdate.

Eventually, Hemmingson provided the information, and while the officer was walking back to his squad car, he was informed by dispatch that there was an active warrant for Hemmingson's arrest and that he had a history of fleeing the police.

The officer then saw Hemmingson drive away in the vehicle, leaving his passenger behind on the road.

The vehicle traveled on county roads in Kandiyohi County and Swift County, going more than 110 miles an hour at times, driving in a ditch and cornfield and failing to stop at stop signs.

Swift County law enforcement and the CEE-VI Drug and Gang Task Force arrived and aided in the pursuit, including putting down spike strips on state Highway 9.

Despite hitting the spikes with a front tire, smoke coming from under the hood and the rubber of the tire coming completely off so he was only driving on the wheel rim, Hemmingson still reached speeds of more than 70 mph.

He then drove into a pasture until his vehicle became stuck in a slough on 40th Street Northeast in Swift County and then fled on foot and ran into cattails in the slough.

Law enforcement, with the help of a K-9 officer, took Hemmingson into custody.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

(320) 894-9750