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YOUNGSTOWN Troopers' chase of van ends in crash on Meridian



Published: Sat, June 9, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Although the driver went underneath the overturned van, he wasn't hurt.

YOUNGSTOWN -- A 41-year-old Youngstown man was being held Friday night in Trumbull County Jail on multiple charges after a pursuit of the stolen van police say he was driving.

Louie Hopkins of Whitman Lane is charged with driving under license suspension, receiving stolen property, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer.

Started in Liberty: Trooper G.T. Allen of the Ohio State Highway Patrol's Southington post said he began following the van, which was reported stolen from a parking lot on U.S. Route 422 in Niles, as it was southbound on state Route 11 in Liberty Township at 4:10 p.m. Friday.

The pursuit moved onto Interstate 80 west, and when the van passed a parked highway patrol car driven by Lt. William Thompson near the Salt Springs Road interchange, it accelerated to more than 80 mph.

Allen said he followed it as it left I-80 and went south on Meridian Road, running red lights.

At the I-680 eastbound on ramp, Allen went ahead of the van to block it and the van went over the curb, blew a tire, went into a ditch, came back onto the road and hit Allen's cruiser.

Their bumpers locked, causing the van to flip onto its side, with Hopkins underneath. Hopkins, unhurt, refused treatment, the patrol said.




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