MASON CITY | No one was seriously hurt after an Osage man fleeing law enforcement at speeds exceeding 100 mph sideswiped a SUV and struck a utility pole in Mason City Monday evening.
Eric William Jensen, 36, Osage, was charged with felony second degree criminal mischief, eluding - speed 25 mph over limit, driving while suspended and several traffic violations.
Jensen and a passenger in the 1990 Mazda MX-5 Miata were fleeing the Iowa State Patrol about 5:15 p.m., Mason City Police Jeff Brinkley said Monday.
Jensen was northbound on Kentucky Avenue before he sideswiped a Ford Escape, hit a utility pole and ended up in the middle of the road on South Kentucky Avenue near Seventh Street, according to Brinkley.
Brinkley said neither the two people in the fleeing vehicle or the woman in the Escape had any life-threatening injuries, which was remarkable given the condition of the fleeing car. Neighbors said the car could have been traveling at 80 to 90 mph before it crashed.
Wendy Martinez, 44, was driving the Ford Escape when she heard a loud thump and saw a car spin out in front of her, hitting a utility pole.
"To make both of my airbags deploy, he must have been going pretty fast," said Martinez, who lives south of where the crash occurred on South Kentucky.
Martinez said that side-swiping her vehicle may have been a positive.
"Him hitting me like that could have saved his life," she said.
Damage to the utility pole, which was bent at a severe angle, brought on the criminal mischief charge, with a replacement cost between $1,000 and $10,000.
An Iowa State trooper patrolling on 230th Street in rural Mason City clocked the vehicle at 75 mph on Thrush Avenue, according to court documents.
After clocking the vehicle at 108 and 110 mph, the trooper activated emergency lights, sirens and attempted to stop the vehicle, which had turned onto Quail Avenue and was rapidly accelerating towards Mason City.
The trooper then alerted other officers that the pursuit was heading into a residential neighborhood in the southeastern part of town.
“I started to slow my vehicle down while coming into Mason City because of the heavy traffic that was present at the time and fear of an accident,” the trooper wrote in charging documents. “While I was slowing down coming into town I noticed the black tow door vehicle attempt to pass a group of cars on the right hand side.”
While attempting to pass the cars, the vehicle appeared to catch the curb, court documents said.
When the trooper approached the vehicle after it struck the utility pole, "both occupants came out of the car under their own power and sat on the curb,” court documents said.
Jensen, the driver, was transported to Mercy Medical Center--North Iowa for evaluation. He was released from the hospital and booked into the Cerro Gordo County Jail, where he is being held on a $2,000 bond.
He is scheduled to appear in Cerro Gordo County District Court April 20.
The crash remains under investigation.