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5 Mo. officers, K-9 struck by car while on scene; driver arrested

The officers were hit as they waited for a tow truck after a suspected car thief crashed in a pursuit


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By Kim Bell
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. — A man was charged with several counts of impaired driving on Wednesday after authorities say he hit five police officers early Wednesday on Interstate 70 in Maryland Heights.

One of the officers, from Lake Saint Louis, was critically injured. Two others from Lake Saint Louis were seriously hurt, and two from the St. Charles County Police Department were treated and released from a hospital.

The officers were hit about 1:40 a.m. Wednesday on eastbound I-70, just west of Interstate 270, as they waited for a tow truck after a suspected car thief crashed in a chase.

All five were part of a regional Criminal Interdiction Task Force, said Cpl. Barry Bayles of the St. Charles County Police Department. Bayles said the task force used to be an auto theft task force but has expanded duties now.

After chasing a suspected car thief who crashed, the officers used their patrol cars to block the far two left lanes of the highway. They were blocking the crash site and waiting for a tow truck to remove the wreckage. Their vehicle lights were flashing, said Cpl. Logan Bolton of the Missouri Highway Patrol.

A 2014 Jeep Cherokee was heading east in the second lane from the left. Its driver, Matthew C. Jones, “eventually noticed the cars and tried to swerve to the right,” but hit one of the Lake Saint Louis police cars, Bolton said.

That patrol car spun around, hitting three Lake Saint Louis officers who were standing on the highway, Bolton said. Two St. Charles County officers were inside the police car when it was struck.

Jones, 31, of O’Fallon, Missouri, was charged with five counts of DWI causing serious injury, DWI with a passenger younger than 17 in the vehicle, child endangerment, driving with a suspended license, unlawful use of a firearm, and possession of fentanyl.

Jones’ 2-year-old daughter was riding in the Jeep. The child had minor injuries and was taken to St. Louis Children’s Hospital. She was in a child safety seat, the patrol said.

A police dog was also injured and is being cared for at a local veterinarian’s office.

The Highway Patrol identified the three injured Lake Saint Louis officers as a 26-year-old man, a 27-year-old man and a 34-year-old man.

The officers from the St. Charles County Police Department are also men, ages 31 and 34.

Jones ran from the scene, Bolton said, but was later arrested.

In January 2022, a deputy from St. Charles County was run over by an SUV and seriously hurt after police with St. Charles County’s multi-jurisdictional auto theft task force stopped a GMC Denali for “casing” the area near Interstate 70 and Fifth Street. The deputy had come to the traffic stop, on a business parking lot off of Fifth Street, to help police transport a prisoner.

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