MOUNT GILEAD — A Richland County woman is facing several charges as the result of a crash and high-speed chase with law enforcement Saturday morning.
According to the Ohio Highway Patrol, troopers were dispatched to a one-vehicle traffic crash on County Road 122, south of State Route 95, in Morrow County at 8:35 a.m. The initial report stated a pick-up truck drove through closed bridge signs, traveled across a bridge, then off into a grass yard. Witnesses said a female fled on foot from the vehicle.
When troopers arrived, a Morrow County Sheriff’s deputy was already on scene. The deputy was directed by witnesses to the location of the female; she was walking through a field and the deputy was trying to keep up with her. Troopers drove about a quarter of a mile east from County Road 20, onto County Road 121, and stopped to cut the woman off. Troopers met the deputy and the woman as they exited the field.
Troopers noticed the woman, who was only wearing a T-shirt and underwear, had scratches on the front of her legs and was bleeding, while she was screaming she was raped and needed to get away. As a trooper walked around the front of his patrol car, she ran past him to the front passenger door.
She then jumped inside the patrol car through the passenger side and climbed across into the driver’s seat. A deputy attempted to prevent her from driving off, but she took off at a high rate of speed as the deputy was still hanging onto the patrol car. Eventually, the deputy fell down onto the ground.
The deputy and the trooper got into the deputy’s vehicle and pursued the female. OSHP dispatch was able to track the patrol car by GPS and followed the vehicle as it continued on County Road 121, before turning north on State Route 314 where the patrol car then went off the right side of the road, struck a ditch, a tree and continued up an embankment and stopped.
The woman got out of the patrol car and took off running on foot behind the residence. She was quickly apprehended by deputies. Deputies kept her in custody until EMS arrived at the scene to evaluate her.
She was identified as Donna L. Ward, 28, of Mansfield. She was transported by ambulance to the Ontario Medical Center, where deputies met with her to continue their investigation of the rape allegations.
It was also discovered that pick-up truck involved in the initial traffic crash was reported stolen from Mansfield.
The deputy, who fell from the vehicle, was treated at the scene for minor cuts to his hands, arms, and legs. The Ohio Highway Patrol will be filing the following charges: Receiving Stolen Property, Failure to Control and Obedience to Traffic Control Devices.