Gainesville man charged in 100 mph chase across Theodosia bridge
An $8,000 cash-only bond has been issued for Jackie L. Wyman, 38, of Gainesville, in connection with an Aug. 24, 2018, high-speed chase. When the chase ended, a pipe with methamphetamine residue was reportedly found inside Wyman’s truck.
Online records indicate Wyman has not yet been arrested in the Ozark County case, which means an initial arraignment hearing date had not been set at press time.
According to the probable cause statement in the case prepared by Ozark County Sheriff’s Deputy Justin Urich, the incident began on Highway 160 near the Theodosia Bullseye gas station, when a gold Chevy truck traveling eastbound passed the station with no front license plate. Urich pulled out to follow the truck and saw a Missouri rear license plate affixed to the truck.
In Missouri most vehicle registrations require two license plates affixed to the front and rear of the vehicle. (One exception is commercial vehicles registered for 18,000 pounds or more.) Urich also reportedly witnessed the truck swerve and cross the centerline of the highway by more than a tire width and then jerk back into the right lane. Because of the erratic driving and the missing front license plate, Urich turned on his emergency lights and attempted to initiate a traffic stop, the statement says.
As soon as the deputy’s emergency lights were turned on, the driver of the truck sped away at a high rate of speed, the report says. Urich increased his speed with his lights and sirens on to chase after the fleeing truck. The two vehicles sped down Highway 160, crossing the Theodosia bridge at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour, continuing eastbound on Highway 160. At HH Highway in Isabella, the truck turned south, and the deputy followed, observing a light-colored object thrown from the passenger’s side window as the chase continued past the VFW building.
The truck then turned east on County Road 620, a dead-end road, and Urich followed, hearing from the Ozark County Sheriff’s dispatcher that backup deputies were on their way and getting close to his location. The truck sped down County Road 620, looping around a resort’s round-about drive at the end, and attempting to drive the opposite way on the county road; however, the truck ran off the roadway and struck a culvert before returning to the county road.
Urich wrote in his report that smoke was coming from the truck’s hood at this point, and the vehicle was sputtering and slowing down. Still, the truck continued to the end of County Road 620 and turned back north on HH Highway. Urich used his radio to inform the dispatcher and other deputies in route that the truck was damaged and the vehicle pursuit would likely be coming to an end soon. The truck crossed the centerline into the southbound lane and attempted to drive up an embankment, but the vehicle stalled at the top. The driver opened the door, jumped out and fled into the nearby brush, allowing the vehicle to roll backward toward Urich’s vehicle, according to the statement.
Urich maneuvered his vehicle to miss the backward-rolling truck and jumped out to secure the passenger, who was still in the truck. Urich placed the passenger into his vehicle and drove to the top of the embankment to see if he could find the driver, who had fled from the scene. Additional deputies arrived and joined the search.
The driver was not located, the report says, but he was identified as Wyman. The passenger told officers that the light-colored object thrown from the window during the pursuit was a needle. It was not recovered.
The truck was towed to the Ozark County impound yard, and a later inventory of the truck turned up a pink zipper bag continuing a glass smoking device with residue that tested positive for methamphetamine, the statement says. A marijuana plant, a small plastic bag with a green leafy substance and a Missouri driver’s license were also recovered from the truck.
On Aug. 31, Urich received information about Wyman’s whereabouts. The deputy, along with Deputy Dustin Smith, went to the residence to arrest the man. Wyman initially gave a false name and Social Security number, but Wyman’s girlfriend confirmed Wyman’s identity to the officers and his Missouri Department of Revenue photograph also matched the man’s identity. Wyman was arrested and was read his Miranda rights before being transported o the Ozark County Jail to be processed.
During the ride to the jail, Wyman told officers he was the driver of the vehicle during the pursuit, the statement says. He reportedly repeated the admission at the jail during an interview.
Further investigation after Wyman’s arrest revealed that his driving privileges had been revoked and his vehicle was uninsured. He was booked into the Ozark County Jail then released to another county on unrelated warrants, the statement says.