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    Police: Former DWI offender tied to Conway police chase

    10:40 PM, Oct 5, 2012   |    comments
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    • Vehicle struck by fleeing car. (Photo: thecabin.net)
        

    Inital Oct. 1 Report from Today's THV

    A brief car chase in Conway ends with a crash, sending three people to the hospital. 

    According the incident report provided by Conway police, an officer was on routine patrol in the area of East German Lane and Oak Street Sunday when he ran the license plate of a vehicle through ACIC. The officer says it was returned to have the registration suspended for the owner receiving DWI charges. The officer says he then got behind the vehicle, attempting to initiate a traffic stop, but the person driving the vehicle did not pull over.

    The officer then turned on his patrol car lights and the vehicle continued to ignore the officer's request for it to be pulled over.

    After the vehicle ran three red lights and continued to recklessly drive, the chase ended when the vehicle struck another vehicle on Ingram Street.

    The driver of the vehicle, and the two others were each taken to three hospitals.

    One of the victims, 16-year-old Alexis McKnight, was taken to Arkansas Children's Hospital where she has since had hip surgery and is awaiting pelvic surgery. The other person in the car with McKnight was taken to Conway Regional to be treated and has since been released. (Today's THV was given consent to use McKnight's name.)

    The officer says that while performing an inventory on the suspect's car, he found a cold beer in the back seat and numerous empty beer cans in the front seat. He says that it seems as though there was an open beer inside the vehicle at the time of the crash. 

    The suspect could face counts of fleeing in a motor vehicle, aggravated assault, DWI IV depending on blood results, criminal mischief, driving on suspended for DWI, reckless driving, driving without proper registration, speeding, no liability insurance, and running red lights.

    Latresha Woodruff with the Conway Police Department says none of the charges have actually been filed.  Additionally, she says the suspect is still in the hospital with a serious neck injury.

    CONWAY, Ark. (KTHV) - We're digging deeper into a recent Conway police chase, which authorities say involved a repeat DWI offender.

    This case all stems from a police chase last Sunday evening along  busy stretch of Oak Street in Conway, not far from Interstate 40. Police reports say the 41-year old female driver they were after blew three red lights before crashing into a car. The incident sent both the suspect and a 16-year-old girl in the other vehicle to the hospital.

    "The pain that's there, you know, you don't want to wish that on anybody," Isaiah Jackson said.

    Isaiah Jackson holds a picture of his niece, Alexis McKnight.

    "Nice young lady," he said looking at the photo.

    McKnight is a junior at Conway High School. She was on her way home last Sunday with her boyfriend when Conway police say a suspect they were chasing down Oak Street struck the vehicle McKnight was a passenger in.

    "The car, it was so bad that they had to cut her out. she was in a seat belt, she was pinned in the car," Jackson said.

    We found the suspect's car at an impound lot with the front banged up and some beers can inside. Police reports say they first went after this driver because her license plate registration turned up suspended for receiving "driving while intoxicated charges."

    Our research into her past shows a June 2nd arrest for DWI and unsafe driving out of Clinton in Van Buren County. Conway police said she also had two prior DWI convictions.

    "She's going to be in a lot of pain for awhile but she's getting there," Jackson said.

    He says her niece will recover from this latest case. But a fractured hip and pelvic bone will keep her off her feet for awhile.

    "She won't even be able to walk for three months or try to walk because of the surgery and everything but I mean she'll fight back, she's strong," Jackson said.

    She's a fighter with a bright smile who was caught up in the wrong place at the wrong time.     

    McKnight's mother told us by phone Friday that doctors put three screws in daughter's hip this past Monday and she has pelvic surgery next week.

    As for the driver of the car who hit the teen, we're told that she remains at Baptist Hospital. A spokeswoman there would only tell us that she's a patient being treated at Baptist and gave no specific condition.

    We are not identifying the suspect because she has not been formally charged yet. But police say prosecutors plan to charge her with DWI and a slew of other charges once she gets out of the hospital.

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