A 25-year-old Salem man is being held in the Marion County Jail on multiple charges after leading sheriff’s deputies on a three-county long chase Sunday afternoon.
John Phillips of Lynnwood Drive was eventually apprehended when attempting to flee on foot when his car ran out of gas and drove into a field on U.S. 51 near Irvington. He’s being held in the Marion County Jail for aggravated fleeing and eluding, possession of methamphetamine, criminal damage to state-supported property, and reckless driving.
The chase began after Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies were asked to assist Salem Police in locating Phillips in connection with a possible drug deal that had just taken place. While on the way there, Phillips reportedly nearly hit a deputy’s vehicle and the chase began.
The chase proceeded down Hardacre Road to Route 37, to Boone Street, to North Lincoln, Warmoth, and College Street. Deputies say Phillips then proceeded down the South College Street Extension to Church Road, back to Route 37 to Route 161 and southbound on I-57. He reportedly struck several of the construction barriers before getting off at the Dix-Irvington Road, turning back onto I-57 to Illinois Route 15 in Mt. Vernon, then west on Route 15 to Ashley.
Phillips then reportedly entered the exit ramp to I-64 and briefly headed westbound in the eastbound lane before doing a U-turn and heading back east. The chase then went back on northbound U.S. 51 where Phillips reportedly went the wrong way up an entrance ramp to the Dix-Irvington Road. He then allegedly reentered going northbound in the southbound lane of US 51 when he ran out of gas, drove into a field, and attempted to run on foot. Deputies say Phillips was able to run about 70 yards in the field before being taken to the ground and into custody.
A small amount of methamphetamine was reportedly found in the vehicle once the chase concluded.
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputies, Mt. Vernon Police, Wamac Police, and Centralia Police assisted at times during the chase.
The sheriff’s department reports Phillips had just been released on $25,000 personal recognizance bond from the Marion County Jail on July 28th after being charged with possession of methamphetamine. He was also wanted on an Illinois Department of Corrections warrant.