Police pursuit ends, SUV swerving to avoid spike strips, flips, and catches fire

Joplin News First

Yolanda Smith, 36, of Sarcoxie, Missouri faces multiple felony charges after pursuit.

JASPER COUNTY, Mo. — Shortly after noon Friday tipsters began alerting Joplin News First Tipline of a possible pursuit.

  • “Girl in SUV was running up turn lane with several cops behind her,” RH
  • “Car chase on Schifferdecker, turned on 20th street going west,” AG
  • “High speed chase headed towards the Kansas line on 20th. Webb City and Joplin Police cars. Chasing a red vehicle weaving in and out of traffic,” SS
  • “Bad wreck [north of] Fountain,” JM
  • “High speed chase ended on JJ/County Road 290,” KT

The SUV flipped just south of JJ and Fir Road coming to rest in the east ditch.

On Friday, October 09, 2020 at 12:20 hours officers with the Webb City Police Department were called to a theft in progress at 1224 South Madison (Murphy USA gas station) in Webb City.  The caller advised that the unidentified suspect in this case is also a suspect in several other previous thefts at the same location.  The suspect drove away in her maroon 2004 Mitsubishi sport utility vehicle as officers arrived in the area.  The suspect fled from officers in her vehicle southbound into Joplin then northbound into Jasper County.  The suspect was northbound on P Highway just north of Fountain Road when she left the roadway to avoid spike strips set up by a Jasper County Deputy.  The suspect continued driving off the roadway through yards before ramping a driveway.  After ramping the driveway, the vehicle overturned and the suspect/driver was ejected.  The driver (suspect) was the only occupant in the vehicle.  Officers began administering first aid to the driver and trying to extinguish the vehicle that had caught fire.  Carl Junction Fire Department arrived, extinguished the vehicle fire, and took over patient care of the driver.  The driver, a 36-year old black female from Sarcoxie, was transported to a local hospital by an ambulance from Metro Emergency Transport Services (METS).  The Missouri State Highway Patrol responded to work the single vehicle traffic crash. 

  • Stealing {RSMO #570.030 – still determining penalty classification}
  • Felony Driving While Revoked or Suspended {RSMO #302.321 – class E felony}
  • Felony Resisting Arrest by Flight {RSMO #575.150 – class E felony}

Missouri State Highway Patrol processed the crash scene. Identifying the driver as Yolanda Smith, 36, of Sarcoxie, Missouri. She suffered moderate injuries and was transported to Mercy Joplin.

“Crash occurred as [SUV] was fleeing from Webb City Police Department. [SUV] swerved to avoid a tire deflation device and drove off the right side of the roadway. [SUV] struck two culverts, went airborne and overturned. Driver was ejected from the vehicle.”

Trooper J.L. Cleeton, Troop D


Carl Junction Fire Department and METS Ambulance responded, Missouri State Highway Patrol were notified.

METS Ambulance transported the single female driver/occupant of SUV to an area hospital with injuries that are not thought to be life threatening.

H&H Wrecker removed the vehicle from the scene.

Watch for updates to our full stories here on FSHP under our Joplin News First news tab.

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