East St. Louis officer’s cruiser struck by speeding stolen car

An East St. Louis police officer was injured late Sunday after his squad car was hit by a teenager allegedly driving a stolen car.

According to Illinois State Police reports, about 9:45 the officer was driving through the intersection of Caseyville Avenue and 42nd Street when the driver of a black, 2010 Lexus failed to stop.

“The Lexus was reported stolen out of St. Louis,” state police spokesman Calvin Dye said. “It was traveling at a high rate of speed and completely ran the stop sign, striking the front of the police cruiser.”

East St. Louis Police Chief Michael Hubbard said East St. Louis Patrolman Richard Sharp was traveling West on Caseyville when his cruiser was struck by the stolen vehicle being driven by an 18-year-old East St. Louis teen. He was being followed by patrol Sgt. Andre Williams. Williams was not involved in the crash.

Sharp was taken to a St. Louis hospital, where he was treated and released.

East St. Louis Detective Jason Hicks was part of the investigation. He said the Lexus SUV carrying five people – an 18-year-old male driver, a 21-year-old female and three people ages15, 16 and 17 – was stolen from Clayton, Mo.

Hicks said the unnamed driver was traveling possibly 45-50 miles per hour in a 25 m.p.h. speed zone. When it struck Sharp's cruiser. Sharp was wearing a seatbelt and was traveling under the speed limit. They along with Sharp were taken to the hospital, treated and released.

Besides Sharp, the driver of the stolen Lexus and three other people in the stolen car were all injured and taken to area hospitals. But Dye said none of their injuries were incapacitating.

East St. Louis police wrote the driver a ticket for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

The two adults are being held at the East St. Louis jail, pending charges. The juveniles are being held at the juvenile detention center in Belleville, pending charges.

Hicks confirmed that Clayton police detectives traveled to East St. Louis to interview the adults.

“The driver was traveling at a high rate of speed and disobeyed traffic signs at 42nd Street and Caseyville Avenue,” Hicks said.

The five people inside came out of the passenger side of the stolen SUV after the crash. Police were there to arrest them, Hicks said.

The stolen vehicle was taken to Northend Towing. It appears to be totaled. It was reported stolen about 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Hicks said.

“It was parked in front of the owner’s residence. The key fob was left inside of the SUV,” he said.

Scott Wuerz: 618-239-2626, @scottwuerzBND Carolyn P. Smith: