Spring Hill neighborhood shaken by morning police chase

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SPRING HILL, Kan. — It took 20 miles, four law enforcement agencies, half a dozen mailboxes, and a Toyota Highlander to stop a high speed chase Sunday.

It started with the driver of a stolen SUV in Lenexa that refused to pull over. It wound through Olathe, down Highway 169, and ended in a Spring Hill front yard.

It was not the Sunday Tori Swartz expected, or really, what anyone who lives at the intersection at Madison and Hale expected.

“I was outside, sweeping and I heard an engine rev, and then a crash, and then saw the silver Toyota 4Runner go flying through my yard,” Swartz said.

Johnson County Sheriff’s deputies were on the scene for almost two hours Sunday. The whole chase took place within the county. “I know at some points, they were going 100 miles per hour,” Claire Canaan of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office said.

Though the SUV, with a male driver and female passanger, was not going that fast as it sped through residential Spring Hill, it was still well above the speed limit.

“So going through the main drag of town, he was flying,” Swartz said, “and he was going super fast through here. He was going so fast it was just a silver blur.”

Swartz was just feet away when the silver blur hit a Toyota Highlander, then a row of mail boxes, went airborne, and landed on its side.

The person in the Highlander is okay. Both people in the stolen 4Runner were hospitalized and are expected to be okay and Spring Hill residents are happy everyone else is okay.

“Why they decided to come through a neighborhood?” Swartz asked rhetorically. “It blows my mind, but I’m glad it ended where it did.”

Johnson County deputies say several agencies were involved in the chase, including the Lenexa Police Department, the Olathe Police Department, the Kansas Highway Patrol, and the Spring Hill Police Department.

“As for as policies and procedures for pursuits go,” said Cannan, “every agency is different. A lot of them though, they do include you know – what’s the risk to residents? What’s the risk to citizens? And we gauge on those if we are going to chase a vehicle or not.”

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