Police chase ends in fiery crash outside Volo Auto Museum
A speeding driver's attempt to elude Wauconda police ended when his car crashed and caught fire Wednesday morning just outside the Volo Auto Museum, authorities said.
Wauconda Police Chief David Wermes said 22-year-old Dakota Eckmann, a Wauconda resident, faces numerous charges, including attempting to flee police and possession of drug paraphernalia, as a result of the chase.
Wermes said the pursuit began about 9 a.m. after one of his officers saw Eckmann driving 84 mph north on Route 12, which is a 55 mph zone. The officer attempted a traffic stop, but Eckmann did not pull over, Wermes said. Instead, he wove in and out of traffic before making a left turn on Volo Village Road, he said.
When the officer turned onto Volo Village Road, Wermes said, he saw Eckmann had crashed into a utility pole near the museum, near routes 12 and 120 in Volo.
Museum photographer Rick Schultz said he heard the end of the chase and took photos of the aftermath.
"We heard the sirens and then there was an orange blur," Schultz said. "When it crashed there wasn't a lot of metal on metal and glass breaking. It was more of a thump when he hit the pole."
The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat caught fire after the crash, and the officer rushed in to pull Eckmann from the wreckage, Wermes said. The Wauconda Fire District arrived to put out the fire.
Eckmann was taken to a nearby hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, and he was later released to police custody.
He's charged with two felony counts of aggravated fleeing a police officer, and single counts of driving more than 21 mph over the speed limit, reckless driving, driving on the shoulder, speeding and possession of drug paraphernalia.