A Neosho, Missouri man sustained fatal injuries in a collision Thursday, after engaging in a high speed chase with Grove Police officers, according to a report by the Grove Police Department.
Ronald E. Hembree, 39, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, which occurred on Highway 43 just over the state line in Missouri.
The report said the pursuit began in Grove around 7:16 p.m. when a resident called the police department to report an intoxicated male driver. The resident reported that the man had pulled into the resident’s driveway and was shouting, beating on his car, and otherwise behaving in an irrational manner, before he pulled out of the driveway and continued driving.
Officer M.G. Wells was dispatched to investigate, and he reportedly spotted the suspect’s car at the intersection of Third and Cherokee.
Wells attempted to stop the Hembree’s vehicle after noting the Hembree had committed a traffic violation.
Instead of stopping, Hembree reportedly accelerated his vehicle and began traveling eastbound on State Highway 25 at a very high rate of speed.
Wells pursued the vehicle and was joined by Officer Mike O’Herin.
Wells and O’Herin pursued the vehicle into the state of Missouri, where it turned north on Highway 43.
The report said that a series of curves caused them to slow down, and they momentarily lost sight of Hembree’s vehicle.
When they saw the vehicle again, it had been involved in a crash, the report said.
The accident was investigated by the Missouri Highway Patrol.
“The officers did a great job of handling this pursuit and trying to ensure the safety of the public,” said Grove Police Chief Mark Morris. “I am very proud of the way our people dealt with a hard and sad situation.”
He noted that Communications Officer Carrie Gill, who was in the office by herself at the time of the pursuit, handled the situation very well.
“We are thankful that none of our officers or anyone other citizens were injured during this pursuit,” Morris said. “It did not end the way we would have liked it to, but it could have been much worse.”