High-speed pursuit

By Chief Patrick Burton, Licking Police Dept.

On March 20, 2021, at approximately 10:50 p.m., a white-in-color Dodge Challenger was observed by a Licking police officer traveling westbound on Highway 32 at a substantial rate of speed. The Licking officer checked the vehicle traveling 87 mph in a posted 45 mph zone. The Licking officer initiated a traffic stop and proceeded to follow the now fleeing vehicle. The fleeing vehicle continued to accelerate to speeds in excess of 130 mph.

The Licking Officer discontinued the pursuit of the fleeing vehicle due to the risk to the public and proceeded to return to the city limits of Licking. Shortly after discontinuation of the pursuit, Texas County 911 Dispatch advised a vehicle had wrecked west of Licking near the intersection of Highway 32 and N Highway.

The Licking Police Department was requested to respond to the accident to secure the scene for the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Upon arriving to the scene, Licking officers found the previously fleeing Dodge Challenger had failed to properly negotiate the curve, left the roadway and came to a rest in a nearby field.

Jennifer Hendrix, age 32, of Pevely, Mo., was identified as the driver of the vehicle. After further investigations, it was discovered Hendrix had nine active arrest warrants for her arrest and that was why she fled from Licking Officers. It was also learned Hendrix’s 15-year-old son was in the vehicle with her, and he had sustained bruising and abrasions from the vehicle overturning multiple times. The minor was taken to the Texas County Memorial Hospital to seek medical treatment.

Hendrix was taken into custody by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and transported to the Texas County Jail. The Licking Police Department is seeking Endangering the Welfare of a Child, Careless and Imprudent Driving and Resisting Arrest by Fleeing charges against Hendrix. The Missouri State Highway Patrol is also seeking formal charges against Hendrix.

The charges for which the suspects are being accused of are mere accusations and are not evidence of guilt. Evidence in support of the charges must be present in front of a court of competent jurisdiction, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

Editor’s Note: The MSHP report indicates Hendrix’s charges included a felony warrant from Texas County for aggravated assault, two felony warrants from Jefferson County for possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor warrant from Jefferson County for larceny, a misdemeanor warrant from Texas County for passing bad check, a misdemeanor warrant from Licking PD for failure to show proof of insurance, careless and imprudent driving resulting in a crash, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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