SIDNEY — A high-speed pursuit on Thursday ended with a two-vehicle crash in downtown Sidney. The vehicles crashed into a utility pole, at the intersection of Miami Avenue and Court Street, taking down traffic control devices and power lines. The crash also caused a fire at the Shelby County Board of Elections.
A man was taken into custody following a chase on foot with Sidney Police after he crashed a black and grey Ford sedan. The driver and juvenile passenger of a second vehicle were trapped in their vehicle in the middle of the intersection for close to 30 minutes due to live wires down on the roadway in front of the car.
DP&L responded to the scene to shut off power before the occupants were safe to exit the vehicle.
According to Sidney Police Chief Will Balling, preliminary information indicated the pursuit began on Interstate 75 when Shelby County Sheriff deputy attempted to pull the Ford sedan over. The vehicle then entered the city of Sidney on Fair Road at a high rate of speed, at which time the Sidney Police Department became involved. During the pursuit, allegedly, the driver of the Ford almost struck a deputy’s vehicle.
The crash into the utility pole caused stress on power lines. Loud popping and sparking of lines could be observed on Miami Avenue before DP&L arrived.
Shelby County Board of Elections Chair Chris Gibbs said initially there was a small fire in the storage room and some electrical damage occurred had at the elections office as a result of the power lines’ damage.
Sidney Fire Deputy Chief Cameron Haller said Sidney Fire Department responded to the report of smoke coming out of the Board of Elections’ roof area. He said initially there was no smoke on the first floor, which led them to believe it the smoke was coming from the attic area. Haller said the fire department went through two ceilings, including a false ceiling, and utilized thermal imaging cameras to find the fire in the attic.
He said other crew members worked to get voting machines out of the building to prevent smoke damage. Haller said there was still smoke in the attic but they were able to contain the fire internally without disturbing the roof.
Gibbs said the computer system had been shut down prior to the office losing power. Also, the newly purchased E-Poll Books were not hooked into anything and sustained no damage.
Gibbs, County Commissioner Tony Bornhorst and others worked to move the voting machines and E-Poll Books to the Shelby County Emergency Management Association building to prevent water or smoke damage.
Bornhorst said they were moving the machines “to ward of smoke or rain.”
“I’m just glad we have people out here willing to respond,” Bornhorst said of the help.
County officials working at the Shelby County Board of Elections, located at the intersection on Court Street, were sent home following the loss of power. Gibbs said the office will remain closed to the public to assess damages.
The Ohio State Patrol, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Sidney Police and Fire Department and Anna Fire Department responded and the “jaws of life” was utilized at the scene. Lockington Fire Department was also paged to respond to the scene.
Haller said damages were to the ceiling and electrical wiring in the attic, but it is too early to determine damage costs.
The driver and passenger of the second vehicle were transported by Sidney Fire to Wilson Health.
No other information is available at this time.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.