A high-speed car chase involving a Chevrolet Camaro ended in a crash outside Emerson Hall in the early morning Sunday, according to Sgt. Monte Mayer of the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Mayer, the incident began approximately 3 a.m. in the front entrance of Marshall Elementary School, located between Oxford and McGonigle.
“We had a deputy driving down U.S. [State Route] 27 and he pulled into the school parking lot to see what was going on,” Mayer said. “As he was pulling in, this black Camaro pulls out of the lot at a high rate of speed.”
The Camaro fishtailed and was heading toward Oxford. The deputy tried to pursue the vehicle, but was having trouble catching up to it, according to Mayer.
An Oxford Township Police Department officer was traveling south on U.S. 27 and as the vehicles approached him, he clocked the suspect vehicle at 127 mph, according to Mayer.
Mayer said the Oxford Township police and the Oxford Police Department were alerted the vehicles were headed toward Oxford.
“As the suspect vehicle entered Oxford, he lost control, went left of center, off of U.S. 27,” Mayer said. “And wound up going more than 400 feet through a field and struck a tree near the rear of Emerson Hall.”
The lone occupant of the vehicle was 19-year-old Miami University first-year, Luke Sweeney. Mayer said Sweeney was taken to McCullough Hyde Memorial Hospital with what appeared to be minor injuries.
According to Mayer, the traffic violations included speeding, reckless operation, failure to maintain marked lanes and failure to control vehicle. Sweeney refused to take an alcohol test and subsequently was charged with operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI).
Mayer said Sweeney was charged with fleeing and eluding defense.
“My preliminary report indicated that he was a Miami University student,” Mayer said. “We didn’t confirm it through Miami University, but he told us he was.”
As for damage, Mayer said there was a lot of tree bark taken off the car and he might have struck a mailbox on the way into the field.
First-year Emerson Hall residents Sam Coman and Amy Pritchard heard the crash outside their windows.
“My friends and I went to the window and saw someone being pulled out of the car and into an ambulance,” Coman said. “But we didn’t know who it was and we haven’t heard anything about it since.”
Pritchard said she thought it was the dump truck picking up the garbage.
“I thought it was the Rumpke dump truck making the loud noise,” Pritchard said. “But then I realized that the dump truck doesn’t come until later on in the early morning.”
As for Sweeney, he will await his court appearances for his charges through Butler County Area II Court, according to Mayer.