Crash ends high speed chase

Benjamin Armstead's 2010 Mazda 3 lays across both lanes of state Route 164 leaving a large field of debris around it. (Photo by Patti Schaeffer)

COLUMBIANA — Amazingly, there were no injuries when a high-speed car chase on state Route 164 came to a sudden halt.

Twenty-four-year-old Benjamin O’Brien Armstead of Canton was wearing his seat belt and walked away after crashing his 2010 Mazda 3 on state Route 164 early Saturday morning.

The situation started just before 3:30 a.m. when Columbiana Police Officer Mark Edwards attempted to stop Armstead on state Route 14 in front of M and E Supply for speeding. He was clocked at 58 mph in a 45 mph zone. Armstead reportedly refused to stop and the chase ensued. Armstead fled west down state Route 14 and turned north onto state Route 164. State Patrol Trooper Jared Paine, who happened to be traveling in the opposite direction when Columbiana requested assistance, clocked Armstead at 97 mph. Paine stated he turned around and joined in the pursuit where speeds reached over 100 mph. Patrolman Edwards had actually slowed down on Route 164 after receiving word that Beaver Township Police were north of him and were ready to deploy stop sticks.  Armstead never reached the stop sticks.

According to Trooper Paine, he went off the right side of the road, north of Pine Lake Road, and continued through the ditch and grass, becoming airborne and striking a utility pole about 10 to 20 feet off the ground, splitting the pole. Armstead’s car then hit the ground, rolling three times before coming to rest upright across both lanes of Route 164.

Edwards came up on the crash and had to maneuver to the berm on the right to avoid hitting Armstead’s car and some mailboxes along the road.

Armstead got out his car and said he wasn’t injured, but he was checked for injuries by Beaver Township EMS and released to Columbiana Police. Columbiana and Beaver Township Police along with the Ohio State Highway Patrol assisted in the investigation at the scene.

Trooper Paine administered a field sobriety test and did not think Armstead was under the influence. He is continuing to investigate the crash and said he will cite Armstead for failure to control. The other charges from the chase, which include driving with a suspended license, expired California plates, speed, fleeing and eluding, left of center, failure to stop at a red light and reckless operation of a vehicle, will be filed by the Columbiana Police Department.

Armstead was charged and taken to the county jail. Crumps Towing removed the vehicle, cleaned up the debris field and state Route 164 was reopened after being closed.