Sheriff involved in Halloween car chase, crash

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DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - Deputies say Macon County's sheriff was involved in a high-speed chase on Halloween night. 

On Tuesday evening at around 6:30 p.m., a Macon County deputy approached a Chevrolet Trailblazer parked at Circle K on West First Drive in Decatur because they believe a suspect with a felony warrant attached to their name was in it. The car backed out of its parking space and moved onto First Drive, starting the chase. 

Deputies have named the person with the warrant as 27-year-old Dalton Elder.

Sworn statements released Thursday say Sheriff Howard Buffett and another deputy in a squad car followed the Trailblazer as it "erratically" changed lanes. Buffett turned on the lights and sirens during the chase, which moved from First Drive to Route 51, and from 51 to South Franklin Street.

Deputies say the Trailblazer ran a red light at the intersection of Franklin and William Street. They say a black Toyota then slammed into the driver's side of the Trailblazer in the middle of the intersection. 

The Trailblazer hit an electrical pole and electrical box, along with a cement block, fire hydrant and tree. The crash left four people hospitalized.

Deputies say the Trailblazer's driver, 32-year-old Emmanuel Dunklin, stepped out after the crash and ran. Deputies caught up with him and arrested him. They also arrested Lindsay Cornwell at the scene, with a third arrest expected after a suspect leaves hospital care.

Dunklin is facing an aggravated DUI charge after deputies say he admitted to using meth the day before the crash. He's also facing an aggravated fleeing and eluding charge. He's expected to appear in court on Dec. 6.

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