Metro-East News

Man in custody after high-speed chase leads to car in river at Kampsville Ferry

Police took a 47-year-old Cape Girardeau man into custody after a high-speed chase Tuesday afternoon that led to the man driving a vehicle into the Illinois River, according to Calhoun County Sheriff William Heffington.

Jessie V. Dorris was in custody of the Greene County Sheriff’s Department as of Wednesday morning, Heffington said. Greene County Sheriff Rob McMillen was not immediately available for comment Wednesday morning.

The chase started in Jerseyville on Illinois 67 and continued north and then east to the Kampsville Ferry, near where the driver ended up in the Illinois River. The driver exited the vehicle and began swimming across the river.

Ferry workers attempted to throw a flotation device to the man, but he continued swimming toward the west side of the river, Heffington said. He swam to the banks of a campground and then stole a truck and attempted to flee, hitting an officer with the truck in the process. The officer was not hurt, Heffington said.

The truck ended up with a flat tire, and police were able to trace it by following rim marks on Illinois 100, Heffington said. Police eventually stopped the man as he was heading east on Illinois 106.

The Kampsville Ferry was closed Tuesday afternoon while crews attempted to remove the vehicle from the water, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. Crews removed the vehicle and the ferry reopened Tuesday evening.

The Kampsville Ferry crosses the Illinois River at Illinois 100 and Illinois 96 in Calhoun County.