Herald JournalWinsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Dec. 16, 2002

Motor home chase ends in rollover

By Ryan Gueningsman

A driving complaint near Hutchinson led to a foot pursuit, high-speed chase, and vehicle roll-over Sunday night, Dec. 8.

Ronald Eugene Christensen, 34 of Lake Crystal, was stopped by a state trooper while driving near the intersection of Highway 7 and McLeod County Road 1, based on the complaint near Hutchinson, and observations made by the trooper.

Upon being pulled over, Christensen fled on foot. He had an outstanding warrant for his arrest in Nicolett County.

"He ditched the car near Made on Earth near Lester Prairie," said State Patrol Lieutenant Scott McConkey. "Attempts to locate him there were unsuccessful."

Christensen found his way to the Lester Prairie area, where he stole a 1979 Brougham motor home, owned by Daniel LaMott of Lester Prairie, from a storage shed at 19405 McLeod Co. Rd. 9.

Christensen was traveling in the motor home on County Road 9 when Deputy Aaron Wiemiller observed him doing speeds of approximately 70 miles per hour, crossing the center line three times, and also weaving in its own lane, according to the criminal complaint.

Wiemiller attempted to pull him over, and Christensen fled. The vehicle ran a stop sign at US Highway 212, and proceeded towards Glencoe with Wiemiller in pursuit.

Near Morningside Drive in Glencoe, Christensen was involved in a rollover accident when a police officer used his squad car to stop the vehicle and end the chase. The motor home was totaled, and Christensen was taken by ambulance to Glencoe Hospital, then airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) to be treated for injuries sustained in the crash.

"He was unconscious, bruised up, and sore from the accident," said McLeod County Chief Deputy Mark Taylor. "You worry about head and back injuries, but nothing has been found so far."

He has since been released from HCMC and is currently in the McLeod County Jail awaiting sentencing.

"He is currently recovering from his injuries," McLeod County Sheriff Wayne Vinkemeier said. "The hospital felt he didn't need to stay there."

Christensen was previously arrested in 1992 for a motor vehicle theft, and that criminal complaint shows that he had at least four similar offenses prior to that arrest.

The Lester Prairie Police, Winsted Police, Minnesota State Patrol, Glencoe Police, and Glencoe Fire Department all assisted in apprehending Christensen.

He has been charged with fleeing a peace officer, which carries a penalty of three years and one day imprisonment and/or a $5,000 fine, and theft of a motor vehicle, which bears a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine.

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