The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is seeking charges after a man led deputies on a high-speed chase that ended in a crash near Villa Ridge Monday evening.
Charges are pending against Ronald James Wertenberger Jr., 30, Villa Ridge, for possessing a stolen vehicle, property damage and traffic charges stemming from the pursuit.
Wertenberger also has outstanding probation and parole warrants and multiple traffic warrants in Franklin County.
Sheriff Steve Pelton said a deputy was monitoring vehicle traffic in the area of Highway O and Woods Road in Villa Ridge and observed a black 2011 Jeep Liberty pass by with an equipment violation.
While following the vehicle, the deputy observed a hazardous moving violation while turning onto Coleman Road and attempted a traffic stop.
At that time, Wertenberger accelerated to flee from the deputy and the pursuit began on Elder Road.
During the pursuit, the deputy confirmed the vehicle was reported stolen from the Catawissa area Aug. 22.
As the pursuit continued traveling on various county roads and highways in the Villa Ridge area, Wertenberger reached speeds up to approximately 90 mph.
He then drove the stolen vehicle through two road construction barriers where the road was closed at the intersection of Highway M and East Villa Ridge Road.
After the collision with the barriers, a tire began to deflate, but Wertenberger continued to flee. A Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper and another Franklin County Sheriff’s Office deputy were able to set up tire deflation spikes in the area of Highways AT and 100, which were successfully deployed in the path of the stolen vehicle.
Wertenberger ended up crashing into a fire hydrant near the 3200 block of Highway 100 in Villa Ridge.
He then fled from the vehicle on foot and a female passenger was detained in the vehicle.
The passenger, a 26-year-old from Villa Ridge, was arrested for second-degree tampering with a stolen vehicle and second-degree riding in a stolen vehicle.
Her name is being withheld pending formal charges.