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When I write about weird and unusual news in the automotive world, it’s typically distant from my personal life. However, last weekend, a car accident near my home in Wisconsin directly affected me — as well as other residents in the badger state. Police pursued a felon on a high-speed chase. The driver then crashed into an electrical pole near where I live, knocking power out for many in Wisconsin. After that, he fled on foot in a field near my home.

High-speed police chase with wanted felon driving nearly 100 mph in Wisconsin

Car crashes into pole, highlighting high-speed police chase in Wisconsin that knocked out power for residents
Car crash | Gordon Chibroski/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

On the night of Saturday, March 18, a Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s deputy noticed a suspicious car driving on Highway 23 in Wisconsin. The police deputy then ran the license plates through the vehicle registration system — and saw that there was an active felony warrant for the registered owner, a 31-year-old Fond du Lac man. The warrant was due to a parole violation. 

After seeing the active warrant for the felon, the deputy attempted to make contact with the driver. However, in response, the felon increased the speed of his car. A high-speed chase ensued, with the felon driving nearly 100 mph. He then turned onto Highway 26 as an officer from the Rosendale Police Department joined in the pursuit. However, the felon drove so fast that the police officers lost visual contact, so they terminated the chase.

Soon after, while continuing on 26, the sheriff’s deputy observed power lines hanging low across the highway — around a mile away from where I live. He then saw that the felon’s car careened off the highway and into a ditch, crashing into an electrical pole. With the car disabled, the felon fled on foot into a wide open field — moving directly toward my home.

After crashing into pole — knocking power out for many residents, the felon fled on foot

Flashing police car lights, highlighting high-speed chase in Wisconsin that knocked out power for residents
Police car lights flashing | Scott Rodgerson via Unsplash

At the time, I was enjoying a relaxing Saturday evening following a week of burning up the keyboard writing articles for MotorBiscuit. Then, the power suddenly went out. While there have previously been power outages in my community, they were weather-related, such as thunderstorms with high winds.

However, there was no severe weather that night in Wisconsin. It was a still and quiet night. It was very cold, though, with temperatures dropping down to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. With no electricity to heat my home, the cold temperature was a concern. I was ready to go outside to grab some firewood for the fireplace. I also wished that I had bought a generator — or perhaps an electric car to temporarily power my home.

Then, I noticed the flashing red and blue lights of multiple police cars on the road near my house. There was also a stream of vehicles, an unusual sight on the typically quiet and idyllic country road. I then checked with a neighbor who keeps a close watch on the police scanners and local media sites. She then informed me what happened with the high-speed chase, car crash, and felony pursuit on foot. 

It was a tense couple of hours in my community. Along with power knocked out and dropping temperatures, a felon was on the loose. With homes lit by candlelight and flashlights, we nervously looked out our windows. We wondered if the felon would try to break into one of the houses. My house is situated on a hill overlooking the field where the felon fled. If he made it across the field, my house would be the first one he would reach. 

The police caught the felon and arrested him

Fortunately, the deputies eventually caught the wanted felon after chasing him on foot in the field. Per the Ripon Press, the suspect was out on parole for a forgery violation. After catching the 31-year-old man, the police arrested him for fleeing and eluding officers, as well as other traffic violations. 

None of the officers were hurt, but the felon was treated for injuries at St. Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac. After getting treated, he was released to the police — and is now being held at the Fond du Lac County Jail. 

With the power lines down, the police closed Highway 26 — and redirected traffic to the country road near my home. That’s why there was so much traffic there. Technicians from Alliant Energy worked to remove the power lines from the highway — and electricity was restored to Wisconsin residents after two hours. 

People in my community could breathe a sigh of relief. On a cold winter evening, the power was back, our homes were warm again — and there was no longer a felon on the loose.