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70-mile chase ended with rescue from water-filled ditch

OLIVIA, Minn. — A high-speed chase Monday stretched across three counties, breaking speeds of 110 mph, only to end when the driver crashed his vehicle and overturned in a drainage ditch.

Now, the Redwood Falls man accused of leading a Renville County sheriff’s sergeant on the 70-mile jaunt has been charged in Renville County District Court with fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle and reckless driving.

Jacob Kelly Leith, 21, was charged at a hearing Wednesday. He has pleaded not guilty to the felony and misdemeanor charges.

The criminal complaint says a sheriff’s sergeant first noticed Leith’s vehicle when it “accelerated aggressively.” The officer also noticed a broken tail light and the chase ensued.

The chase came to a close when Leith lost traction on a gravel road and crashed into a drainage ditch, fully submerging the front of the vehicle and part of the back.

The office was able to rescue Leith and a female passenger from the overturned vehicle.

Leith and the passenger were treated and released from the hospital with no apparent injuries.

Leith will make his next appearance at a hearing May 6 in Renville County District Court.

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