Man High on Meth, Driving Stolen Minivan, Leads Police in Pursuit Topping 115 MPH

Joplin News First

Pursuit involved multiple agencies traveling at high speed across three SW Missouri counties: Newton, Jasper and ending in Lawrence.

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Mo. — Earlier this week* a Tulsa, Oklahoma man was allegedly involved in a leaving the scene crash in Newton County. Samuel Carpenter of the Missouri State Highway Patrol tells us soon thereafter a one of their Troopers observed a van, matching the description, driving erratically and passing vehicles on the shoulder. So they initiated pursuit.

Our Joplin News First cameras happened to be at the I-44 Sarcoxie exit 29, and were able to capture the pursuit in Jasper County as they traveled east at nearly 115 mph.

“Vehicle was suspected in a leaving the scene crash. Our Trooper met it at a high rate of speed, passing other vehicles on the shoulder, and initiated a pursuit. It traveled north on 59 to I44 and then east.

Multiple agencies assisted in setting up spikes to slow the vehicle. After hitting multiple sets of spikes, the driver lost control and crashed into the median cable. He was taken into custody and was found to be under the influence of drugs.”

Tpr S. Carpenter, Public Information Officer

The pursuit ended (marked on map above) without incident near 45 mile marker in Lawrence County approaching Mount Vernon on I-44 east.

James Schweikhard, 46, of Tulsa, Oklahoma was transported to the Lawrence County Jail and is being held on the following charges:

  • Resisting Arrest/Detention/Stop by Feeling – Creating a Substantial Risk of Serious Injury/Death to any Person
  • Tampering with Motor Vehicle – 1st Degree
  • Driving While Intoxicated – Drugs

Schweikhard’s next court date is Thursday, March 4.

*Incident occurred Monday, February 22, during the noon hour. Schweikhard was booked into the Lawrence County Jail later that afternoon.

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