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Police: Altoona man leads high-speed chase, creates hit-and run crash

·3 min read

Mar. 5—EAU CLAIRE — An Altoona man led authorities on a pursuit through Altoona and Eau Claire before causing a hit-and-run crash on Clairemont Avenue in Eau Claire.

The incident ended when the man's vehicle was found engulfed in flames on Eau Claire's far west side.

Joshua A. Timms, 40, 1920 Garfield Ave., was charged Friday in Eau Claire County Court with a felony count of eluding an officer and a misdemeanor count of hit and run attended vehicle.

A $1,000 signature bond was set for Timms, which prohibits him from having contact with the victim in the hit-and-run crash.

Timms returns to court Monday.

According to the criminal complaint:

Just before 9 p.m. Thursday, Altoona police received a complaint of a vehicle swerving all over the road. Based on license plate information conveyed to authorities, police believed the vehicle was being driven by Timms.

An Altoona police officer located the vehicle, which had its four-way flashers activated, on Tenth Street West near North Wilson Drive. The officer activated his emergency lights in an attempt to conduct a traffic stop.

As the officer got behind the vehicle, the driver of the suspect vehicle performed a U-turn and proceeded in the opposite direction. The officer turned around and continued to follow the suspect vehicle, which nearly struck another vehicle.

The officer got close enough to the vehicle to determine that Timms was the driver.

As they approached Hillside Road, the officer attempted to initiate a moving roadblock but Timms just drove around the officer's vehicle. A second officer was able to get in front of Timms and force him to stop.

As the second officer began to walk toward Timms' vehicle, Timms took off at a high rate of speed, drove between the two squad cars and nearly struck both.

A high-speed chase began and was terminated when Timms proceeded west on Clairemont Avenue at speeds of 70 mph. Timms ran a red light at U.S. 12 and U.S. 53.

At 9:10 p.m., Eau Claire police were called to a hit-and-run crash at Clairemont Avenue and Rudolph Road. The victim driver said he and another vehicle were both westbound on Clairemont Avenue when a third vehicle tried to drive in between them. The victim driver said the vehicle struck the passenger side of his vehicle and continued driving.

Based on the description of the striking vehicle, police determined it was Timms' vehicle.

At 11:20 p.m., Eau Claire police received a report of a vehicle on fire in the 600 block of Lamplighter Court. An officer arrived to find a vehicle engulfed in flames.

Timms was in a nearby driveway shouting wildly.

Timms was arrested and made statements about how earlier in the evening police were following him with their lights on and suddenly disappeared. Timms also said he crashed into something that evening and continued driving.

If convicted of the felony charge, Timms could be sentenced to up to 18 months in prison.