Car chase ends in crash

Chad Frey
The Kansan

A short car chase starting at Northridge Elementary School April 22 ended in a one-vehicle crash in the 1200 Block of North Plum in Newton. 

Newton Police Department

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, Robert E. Benson, 56, Kansas City, Missouri, was taken to Newton Med with "suspected serious injury" following the crash. 

He lost control of the 2009 Hyundai Elantra he was driving after going through the intersection of 12th and Plum Streets, crashing into some landscaping in the front yard of a home. 

"Other than the landscaping and rocks, there was no other damage to other property," said Jason Thompson with the Newton Police Department. "Only the driver was injured."

According to the Newton Police Department, Benson was pulled over for speeding in a school zone when he accelerated away from officers, leading a short chase that reached speeds of about 50 miles per hour before losing control of the vehicle. 

"The whole thing did not last more than a minute from start to finish," Thompson said. 

Police found open alcohol containers and a gun in the car. 

"We are doing investigation on that, to see if he can legally possess a firearm or not," Thompson said. " ... He refused an initial blood test at Newton Med. A search warrant was obtained and a blood sample was taken at the hospital under the warrant."

Results of blood tests are pending, and could take weeks to be completed. 

Benson was charged with battery of a law enforcement officer. 

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, 257 feet south of 12th Street on Plum Street Benson lost control of the Elantra, the car rolled a quarter onto the left side, struck two trees, and came to a rest on its wheels.