Centralia man injured when struck by stolen truck being pursued by police

FAYETTE COUNTY — A 28-year-old Ramsey man remains in the Fayette County Jail following his arrest Thursday afternoon involving a police pursuit and crash that sent another man to the hospital with serious injuries.

According to the Illinois State Police, Randal E. Howell, of Ramsey, was traveling southbound on Route 51 in a silver 2015 Chevy Silverado when State Police say he crossed the center line and struck a 2016 Chevy Sierra being driven by 49-year-old Ronald D. Seals, of Centralia.

State Police say that Howell fled the scene and Seals was transported via ambulance to a local hospital with serious injuries.

Howell was allegedly fleeing from police in connection with a Wednesday vehicle theft.

According to Vandalia police, they received a report Wednesday morning that a silver 2015 Chevy Silverado was stolen from the Vandalia High School parking lot.

The truck was reportedly a maintenance vehicle owned by the Vandalia School District and surveillance video led to Howell being identified as the suspect.

Around 11:45 a.m. Thursday, a Fayette County Sheriff’s Deputy spotted the vehicle in Ramsey and the Deputy attempted to stop the vehicle and says it fled from a traffic stop.

The deputy was able to keep sight of the vehicle as it traveled south out of Ramsey through the country.

The report says the suspect came to U.S. Route 51 from 2500 Avenue, then went south to 2475 where he turned down a dead-end road.

The deputy reportedly attempted to use spike strips on the stolen vehicle but the suspect drove around them and went south on Route 51 where the deputy lost sight of the vehicle.

Then about 2 1/2 miles north of Vera Road a Vandalia officer responding to the pursuit spotted the truck on U.S. 51. As the suspect tried to pass a vehicle just south of Vera Road he apparently sideswiped Seals’ northbound truck.

The report says the suspect continued southbound on Thrill Hill Road where officers followed him.

Rural EMS responded to the accident and transported Seals to Fayette County Hospital with serious injuries.

Howell was later taken into custody in Montgomery County and is currently being held in the Fayette County Jail on charges of Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding Police and Possession of a Stolen Vehicle.