Waushara County man leads Wood County officers on high-speed chase
For the Rapids City Times
WOOD COUNTY – A Waushara County man is in the hospital, and facing drunk driving charges, after leading Wood County authorities on a high-speed chase that ended in a gas leak and damage to a business.
According to the Wood County Sheriff’s Department, deputies were conducting a traffic stop on Highway 13 in the town of Saratoga just after midnight on Aug. 21, when a minivan driven by 30-year-old Stuart McGregor, Jr. of Hancock drove by at a high rate of speed while changing lanes erratically.
Deputies caught up with McGregor a short time later in a parking lot at Eighth Street South and Two Mile Avenue in Wisconsin Rapids. When deputies approached, McGregor sped off, continuing southbound on Highway 13 into Saratoga, where his Dodge Caravan went off the highway at Townline Road, then went into a ditch, struck a business and the gas meter of the business, causing a gas leak. McGregor fled on foot, but was apprehended a short time later.
Several residents were evacuated as a precaution, while WE Energies repaired the gas leak. Alliant Energy was also called in to disconnect electrical services in the area as a precaution. Highway 13 was also closed for approximately three and a half hours while utilities were being restored.
Investigators said speed and alcohol were contributing factors to the incident. McGregor was transported by Wisconsin Rapids ambulance to Aspirus Riverview. His condition has not been released. He is facing fourth-offense OWI charges, fleeing police officers, and operating a vehicle after license revocation.
The Wood County Sheriff’s Department was assisted by the Wisconsin Rapids, Nekoosa, and Grand Rapids Police departments; Wisconsin Rapids Ambulance; Grand Rapids Fire Department; Saratoga First Responders; and Wood County Highway Department.