CAHOKIA — A police officer was hospitalized after inhaling fumes coming from a rolling meth lab during a traffic stop Friday night.
The incident occurred at Illinois 157 and St. Paul Drive while police were conducting a safety check at about 9:25 p.m.
Taken into custody and charged were Paul Deaton, 35, of 793 W. Park Road, Union, Mo., and his wife, Nicole Deaton, 30, of 509 S. Metten, Columbia, Ill. They were charged with aggravated participation in meth amphetamine manufacturing and unlawful possession of meth manufacturing material.
The Deatons were being held in the St. Clair County Jail on $500,000 bail each.
Because the unnamed officer inhaled the chemicals from the car and was unable to remain on scene, other Cahokia officers were called to assist, Cahokia Police Chief James Jones said.
The unnamed officer, who was released form the hospital later that night, is recovering, Jones said.
Cahokia police officers were conducting the safety check as part of an Illinois Department of Transportation grant when a car driven by the suspects drove up, said s drove up, St. Clair County Sheriff's Lt.. Kurt Eversman said.
"The officer made contact with the male subject in the vehicle and saw that he was not wearing a seatbelt, and saw there was open alcohol in the vehicle" Eversman said.
When the unnamed patrolman open the car door, an occupant in the vehicle threw a container with hazardous material in it out of the vehicle. The officer inhaled the chemicals coming from inside of the vehicle and then he backed away due to the overpowering smell and later had to go to the hospital, Jones said.
Illinois State Police and the St. Clair County Sheriff's Drug Tactical Unit assisted in the arrests. The intersection was closed to traffic for about three hours while police processed the car.
This is the second arrest in this area involving a rolling meth lab. On Nov. 15, officers with the Belleville Police department stopped a vehicle and the occupants were charged with unlawful possession of meth manufacturing materials .