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Willmar man arrested Monday night following police pursuit and crash in Willmar

A 30-year-old Willmar man is awaiting formal charges, including felony fleeing a peace office in a motor vehicle and several misdemeanor charges, after allegedly driving recklessly through Willmar and leading police on a vehicle pursuit. He was apprehended in a culvert after he crashed his vehicle and fled on foot.

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WILLMAR — A 30-year-old Willmar man was arrested after crashing his vehicle during a police pursuit Monday night and fleeing into a culvert, according to a news release from Willmar Police Chief Jim Felt.

The man is expected to be charged with multiple driving-related crimes as well as charges for fleeing. As of Tuesday morning, he was in custody in the Kandiyohi County Jail .

The West Central Tribune does not typically name suspects before they are formally charged.

According to the release:

Around 11:48 p.m. Monday, a Willmar Police Department officer were notified of a red Nissan driving recklessly near Carris Health — Rice Memorial Hospital .

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A short time later, an officer observed a 2013 red Nissan Altima driving in reverse at a high rate of speed on Sixth Street Southwest. The officer also observed the vehicle, still in reverse, running stop signs on Becker Avenue Southwest.

The officer attempted to stop the vehicle, but the vehicle increased its speed and fled westbound on Becker Avenue once the emergency lights were activated in the officer's car. The vehicle continued driving through controlled intersections without stopping.

The vehicle left the roadway at a curve on the corner of Becker Avenue and 15th Street Southwest and entered a wooded area where it struck a power pole and turned over.

The driver then fled on foot and crawled into a culvert underneath railroad tracks. He was unable to exit at the opposite end of the culvert because it was blocked with bars.

The man eventually crawled out of the culvert after talking with law enforcement for several minutes and was taken into custody.

He was transported by CentraCare Ambulance to Carris Health — Rice Memorial Hospital for a medical evaluation. The news release does not mention any injuries to the man.

After the examination, he was transported to the Kandiyohi County Jail where he awaits possible charges of felony fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle and several misdemeanors including fleeing a police officer by a means other than a motor vehicle, reckless driving and obstructing the legal process

Police also suspect he was under the influence during the chase and are awaiting a blood test for a charge of driving while impaired.

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The Willmar Fire Department and the Kandiyohi County Rescue Squad also responded to the incident.

Mark Wasson has been a public safety reporter with Post Bulletin since May 2022. Previously, he worked as a general assignment reporter in the southwest metro and as a public safety reporter in Willmar, Minn. Readers can reach Mark at mwasson@postbulletin.com.
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