A 31-year-old man has been arrested after a high-speed chase that ended with a wrong-way crash on Highway 169 in southern Minnesota on Friday.
Officials from multiple agencies were tasked with apprehending George Marten Williamson after they learned there were several warrants out for his arrest, including a felony from Illinois that listed him as being armed and dangerous, the Nicollet County Sheriff's Office said in a news release Tuesday.
The effort to arrest Williamson began June 4 when a plainclothes Nicollet County investigator spotted a white pickup truck that matched the description of Williamson's vehicle near Family Fresh in St. Peter, the criminal complaint says.
He began following it, noting it was making "random turns in an effort to evade" the unmarked car, charges state. The truck turned a corner and was met by a marked squad car with its lights activated, and the investigator activated his emergency lights.
That's when the driver, later identified as Williamson, turned onto a nearby street and sped away, driving at a "high rate of speed" and running stop signs, charges state.
The deputy and investigator ended their pursuit due to the "dangerousness" of Williamson's driving.
Officers from other agencies were assisting in the search for Williamson, finding him near the intersection of Howard Street and Leonard Street. A deputy saw Williamson drive "directly towards the marked squad car," and then turned and drove around the deputy, eventually heading southbound on Minnesota Avenue.
The deputy followed, noting he was driving 70 mph down the street that has a speed limit of 30 mph and Williamson was "pulling away from him," the complaint says.
The deputy then terminated the pursuit based on his "concern for the safety of others," the complaint says.
The deputy watched Williamson turn on southbound Highway 169. Williamson was driving down the highway at "excessive speeds," reaching 100 mph while being pursued by a St Peter police officer, officials allege.
Williamson then crossed over the center median and began driving southbound on the northbound lane, at which point the officer stopped pursuing him. But Williamson continued to drive the wrong way down the highway, eventually crashing into another vehicle, charges say.
Williamson then got out of the pickup and ran southbound from the scene of the crash. Deputies from Nicollet and Le Sueur counties and a St. Peter police investigator arrested Williamson a "short distance" from where he crashed, charges state.
He was taken to the local hospital, where he was treated and released, the release says. He was then booked into the Nicollet County Jail.
The 22-year-old St. Peter woman who was driving the vehicle Williamson crashed into was also taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries, the release adds. She was treated and released.
The criminal complaint says Williamson had a backpack with him. Inside, there was a syringe and a bag of a "crystal-like substance" that tested positive for 21 grams of methamphetamine.
Williamson, whose address was listed as unknown, Minnesota, was charged Monday in Nicollet County with fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle and fifth-degree drug possession, both felonies, as well as misdemeanor reckless driving, misdemeanor careless driving, and gross misdemeanor criminal vehicular operation.
He also faces several warrants from other states, the sheriff's office said. In addition to the aforementioned felony warrant out of Illinois, Williamson had a felony warrant out of Texas for narcotics, a warrant for a parole violation out of Iowa and another warrant out of Nebraska.
The Nicollet County Sheriff's Office, the St. Peter Police Department, the Le Sueur County Sheriff's Office, the North Mankato Police Department, the Minnesota State Patrol, the Blue Earth County Sheriff's Office, and the Cannon River Drug and Violent Offender Task Force were involved in Williamson's pursuit and arrest.