Sharmin L. Partridge and Michael R. Kennedy. — Photos courtesy of Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Department
On Monday, May 14, 2018 at approximately 5:40 p.m. Deputy Donnie Vaughn, with the Hardin County Sheriff’s Department, attempted to stop a silver Chevrolet pick-up for speeding on Illinois Highway 34 near Gaskin Mine Road; the driver of that vehicle, refused to pull over and accelerated northbound into Pope County. As the pursuit continued onto Gape Hollow Road, Deputy Vaughn continued his efforts to stop the Chevrolet with lights and siren activated. The driver of the Chevrolet struck the passenger front of Deputy Vaughn’s patrol vehicle, disabling it. The Chevrolet turned west onto Mountain Road and continued into Saline County.
Sheriff Fricker located Deputy Vaughn and they followed the trail of parts which were falling off of the Chevrolet. An off-duty Illinois State Police Trooper who had been monitoring radio traffic located the Chevrolet on Rocky Branch Road outside of Harrisburg at which time, Saline County Deputies and Harrisburg police engaged in a pursuit as the Chevrolet turned onto Illinois Highway 13. Harrisburg & Saline County officers were then joined by Hardin County and Carrier Mills officers as the pursuit continued into Gallatin County.
Gallatin County Deputies and Shawneetown police took lead and continued pursuing the Chevrolet through their county and across the Ohio River into Union County, Kentucky. Deputies from that agency then joined in the pursuit which went through Morganfield and Henderson, Kentucky, reaching speeds in excess of 100 miles-per-hour.
Kentucky State Police Troopers attempted to terminate the pursuit with spike-strips, but the driver of the Chevrolet made it around those devices. As the pursuit continued across the Indiana state line, it came into a construction zone where the lanes narrowed at the intersection of Highway 41 and Interstate 69 at the edge of Evansville, IN.
As the Chevrolet attempted to enter the on-ramp to I-69 East, the driver lost control, went airborne, then down an embankment and came to rest just north of the interstate. Tactical officers with the Evansville Police Department and their K-9 unit assisted Hardin County deputies in taking the driver, Michael R. Kennedy and Sharmin L. Partridge into custody.
Hardin County State’s Attorney Daniel Cockrum has filed formal charges against Kennedy: Driving While License Revoked, Aggravated Fleeing to Elude a Peace Officer, and Criminal Damage to Government Supported Property. He faces additional charges in multiple jurisdictions and is lodged in the Vanderburgh County Jail in Evansville, IN.
Mrs. Partridge, who was Kennedy’s passenger, was charged with possession of synthetic marijuana (K-2) in Vanderburgh County, but has not been charged in Hardin County.
“I’m pleased with the rapid response and assistance from the Saline County Sheriff’s Office, Harrisburg Police Department, Carrier Mills Police Department, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, and Shawneetown Police Department, as well as authorities in Kentucky and Indiana,” said Hardin County Sheriff Jerry Fricker. “Their assistance in the apprehension of someone who posed a threat to motorists and officers of this county and others was greatly valued. Also, deputies Joe Jenkins and Garison Mott willingly covered Hardin County calls on their off time during this incident.”
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