Trucker Who Led Police on 100-Mile “High Speed” Chase Was Wanted in Michigan
Coshocton County, OH – The trucker who led police on a 2 hour and 40 minute high speed chase through numerous counties in Ohio this week was formally charged on Wednesday.
Stephen Howard Wolfe, 47, was charged with felonious assault, which is a second-degree felony, by the Licking County Prosecutor’s Office on September 18, two days after the incident.
Additional charges are possible, according to Coshocton County Prosecutor Jason Given, who explained that any future charges would be filed in Licking County, as the only recorded injury from the incident occurred there.
Other possible charges, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP), include fleeing and eluding, and receiving stolen property (in relation to the truck itself).
On Monday, Transportation Nation Network (TNN) reported a trooper with OSHP attempted to pull Wolfe over on Highway 30 near the city of Nevada after noticing the 2013 Peterbilt truck (without a trailer) he was driving did not have tags.
Instead of stopping, OSHP said Wolfe fled at a “high speed.”
A 2 hour and 40 minute police chase ensued, which spanned eight counties in Ohio.
Court documents state the chase exceeded 100 miles per hour at times.
Authorities followed Wolfe both on the ground and in the air.
During a portion of the chase in Licking County, Wolfe collided with a 1989 Jeep Comanche on Highway 16, near Cedar Street, authorities said.
The Jeep’s driver, Michael Slagle Jr., 52, suffered “severe but non-life threatening” injuries as a result of the crash, and was transported via helicopter to a hospital in Columbus.
OSHP said stop strips were deployed in attempts to stop the semi.
While Wolfe was able to avoid most of the stop strips, they eventually lead to heavy tire damage, which led to Wolfe abandoning the semi on Pleasant Valley Drive in Coshocton.
He then fled into nearby woods on foot.
Police surmised he was attempting to get to family, as Wolfe had resided in Coshocton in the 1990s and still has family in the area.
Wolfe was ultimately located about an hour later and was subsequently arrested in the 1600 block of Evergreen Park Drive.
No strangers to bizarre situations, Clinton and Shannon Kirker (the team-driving couple who were violently detained at a Mississippi shipper last year), live just blocks from where Wolfe abandoned the semi.
“The rims [of the semi] left grooves in the road for miles,” Shannon told TNN.
“The local schools were on lock down, as he was about half a mile from them at the time,” she said.
Clinton told TNN that he was grateful Shannon was home at the time and not out in town as everything was happening.
“The town is so small that everything is pretty close,” Clinton said.
Wolfe’s Criminal History
Since the incident, OSHP uncovered Wolfe’s extensive criminal history.
For starters, the Peterbilt Wolfe was driving had been stolen from a town in western Michigan.
According to News8, police from Wyoming, MI (near Grand Rapids) said the semi was stolen over the weekend from a business on Clyde Park Avenue, between 44th and 52nd Streets.
Wolfe’s Facebook page says he is a truck driver for Estes Express Lines.
Ironically, a terminal for Estes Express Lines is located at 4600 Clyde Park Avenue in Wyoming, MI.
Numerous representatives from Estes told TNN Wolfe has not been employed by the company since 2015.
Additionally, an Estes representative confirmed to TNN the stolen truck was not owned by Estes or stolen from the terminal.
It was not immediately made clear if Wolfe was the individual who stole the semi, or how he obtained it.
Authorities said Wolfe had recently been released from prison in Michigan on charges related to a home invasion and breaking and entering, which put him behind bars for a year and a half.
He had been wanted on warrants for a parole violation and failure to appear in court since September 5.
A criminal complaint filed in Licking County requested a bond be set at $2 million, considering Wolfe was recently incarcerated for a violent crime in Michigan and was a fugitive from that state.
Additionally, Licking County prosecutors argued the high speed chase Wolfe initiated in Ohio violated numerous traffic and safety laws while endangering the lives of individuals on the roadways.
The Coshocton Tribune reported that Wolfe remained incarcerated as of Wednesday evening and a bond hearing had yet to be scheduled.
However, TNN received documentation that indicated Wolfe was released from jail on September 18.
As of publication, TNN has not heard back from authorities in Licking County to confirm Wolfe’s release.
This is a developing story, so stay logged on to TransportationNation.com for the latest details.