An incident that started with a car stolen during a funeral in Morenci eventually involved three law enforcement agencies and ended with the driver in the hospital.
Former Morenci resident Frederick J. Allen, 23, is suspected of stealing a vehicle parked in front of the Eagle Funeral Home on Summit Street Saturday morning and leading a Fulton County Sheriff’s Department deputy on a chase into Lucas County.
The stolen car eventually hit a utility pole near Toledo Express Airport and Allen was ejected as the vehicle rolled over several times. He was transported to the University of Toledo Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.
Morenci police received a report of a stolen vehicle at 11:41 a.m. Saturday when the owner of the vehicle discovered it missing at the conclusion of the funeral service he was attending. The keys had been left in the ignition.
More than an hour later the Fulton County Sheriff’s office received a report of a reckless driver heading east on U.S. 20A between Delta and Swanton. When a deputy located the vehicle, he observed it weaving into the opposing lane of traffic.
A report from the Sheriff’s office indicated that a traffic stop was attempted, but after pulling over, the suspect vehicle suddenly sped off.
When the chase approached Lucas County, the deputy called for assistance from the Ohio State Highway Patrol and that agency arrived just as the crash occurred. Allen apparently lost control of the vehicle at the intersection of Garden Road and the car went off the right side of the highway.
Drug paraphernalia was found in the vehicle—including spoons, a medicine dropper, and rolling papers—leading police to suspect that Allen’s erratic driving might have been caused by drug use.
Morenci Chief of Police Larry Weeks expects that charges will be filed from all three agencies: a stolen vehicle in Michigan, reckless driving and fleeing in Fulton County, and the crash in Lucas County.
Allen’s address is listed in Bryan, Ohio.