TUSCOLA — A Rockford woman who led police on a high-speed chase last week across seven counties in East Central Illinois was charged this week with four felonies and a misdemeanor.
Lindsay M. Whittington, 29, was charged in Douglas County court with aggravated battery, possession of a stolen license plate, criminal damage to government supported property, aggravated fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.
According to police, Whittington and a passenger, Robert P. Taylor, 41, also of Rockford, were wanted for an armed robbery in Winnebago County.
Whittington and Taylor were spotted by LeRoy police about 10:30 p.m. Feb. 20 in a minivan bearing the license plate of a vehicle that had been reported stolen in Rockford.
When LeRoy police tried to stop the van, Whittington took off. Police chased the vehicle, which was traveling at speeds up to 100 mph, east on Interstate 74 through DeWitt and Piatt counties into Champaign County, where it turned south on Interstate 57.
A Douglas County sheriff's deputy saw the van speed through a red light on U.S. 36 near I-57 in Tuscola. When the deputy tried to stop the van, Whittington turned off the van's light, traveled in the oncoming lane of traffic and drove away.
Villa Grove police next spotted the van moving quickly through Villa Grove and unsuccessfully tried to stop it. The van was moving north back into Champaign County at speeds of more than 100 mph.
Then, about a half-hour later, a Douglas County deputy spotted the same van south of Villa Grove. This time the deputy kept up the chase with help from several area departments, including the Tuscola, Arcola, Arthur and Mattoon police and the Coles and Moultrie county sheriff's offices.
The chase continued through Douglas, Coles and Moultrie counties, with the van crossing two lanes of traffic and hitting a Douglas County squad car, causing damage but no injury.
The chase ended about 12:50 a.m. Feb. 21 when the van crashed into a ditch on Douglas County Road 570 E, just south of Illinois 133, about 3 miles west of Arcola.
Taylor and Whittington got out of the van and ran but were caught and arrested. Police said Whittington was in possession of a glass smoking pipe.
Both Whittington and Taylor remain at the Douglas County Jail.
Whittington's next Douglas County court appearance was set for April 4.