Two Hoopeston police officers were treated for injuries after crashing their squad car during a high-speed chase. The officer and an auxiliary officer, who was riding along, were treated at Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center.
A 33-year-old Danville man faces several charges following the high-speed chase early Saturday. Hoopeston Police say Benjamin Hillsman was stopped for a routine traffic violation near the intersection of Illinois routes 1 and 9.
A Hoopeston officer approached the car and obtained the driver's licenses of both the driver and a passenger. But then police say the car that was stopped suddenly sped away. The Hoopeston officer started pursuing the vehicle shortly after midnight Saturday morning.
Police report the chase went southbound on Route 1 through Rossville to the Bismarck Road. It was there that police say the suspect's vehicle attempted to pass a southbound bus and pulled in front of a northbound pickup truck. Both the suspect's vehicle and pursuing Hoopeston squad car left the road. The squad car struck a tree.
The suspect's vehicle continued to flee and was finally stopped in Danville by Danville Police and Vermilion County Sheriff's Deputies. 33-year-old Benjamin Hillsman of Danville was arrested on charges of aggravated fleeing and eluding and reckless driving. Police also charged both with possession of cannabis over 5,000 grams after officers recovered a package allegedly thrown from the suspect's car during the chase. The package contained approximately 19 pounds of suspected cannabis.
Both Hillsman and the passenger were transported to the Public Safety Building in Danville awaiting the filing of formal charges by the Vermilion County State's Attorney.
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