Motorist evades traffic stop, leading to crash and pursuit

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A man was charged following an attempted traffic stop in Columbia that led to a brief pursuit that was terminated in Missouri about noon on Tuesday.

Monroe County Sheriff Neal Rohlfing said he initiated a traffic stop on a red Dodge Avenger driven by a white male who was operating the steering wheel with his knees while smoking what appeared to be methamphetamine.

The driver refused to stop for the sheriff and sideswiped a car on Route 3 at Bottom Avenue in Columbia before continuing north at a high rate of speed on Route 3 and then west on I-255, the sheriff said.

“We pursued him to Lindbergh in Missouri and terminated the pursuit,” Rohlfing said.

No injuries were reported.

The sheriff said the suspect car involved in this incident was reported to be used without permission from the registered owner in Marissa.

Police determined the driver had recently stole the vehicle and was identified as Matthew A. Hedtkamp, 32, of Marissa.  Hedtkamp was arrested in St. Louis County and is currently being held there.  

He is being charged with aggravated fleeing and eluding and unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle. Hedtkamp was issued a $50,000 bond and is awaiting extradition from Missouri.  

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