Chase ends in fatal FD rollover

Kansas City man thrown from van taken in Des Moines carjacking

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari A Mid Iowa Towing flatbed truck prepares to tow a van that was involved in a high-speed pursuit through multiple counties. It ended in Fort Dodge with a rollover and the driver’s death.

A three-county chase ended early Thursday morning in Fort Dodge when a van stolen in Des Moines rolled and the driver was thrown to his death.

Philip A. Wooden, 24, of Kansas City, Missouri, was pronounced dead at the scene just south of Iowa Highway 7 on U.S. Highway 169.

Wooden led multiple authorities on the high-speed chase that began on the interstate in Story County.

The original report stated a van was stopped in the middle of Interstate 35, according to Sgt. Jerry M. Spencer, of the Story City Police Department.

That report was logged at 4:30 a.m.

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari Troopers with the Iowa State Patrol take measurements after a fatal high-speed pursuit that began in Story County and ended in Fort Dodge.

Spencer said when Story City officers approached the van, Wooden took off.

Des Moines police said that around 3:30 a.m. Thursday it learned that the van had been taken during a carjacking. The victim told police he was driving in the 1600 block of East University Avenue in Des Moines when he was carjacked at gunpoint.

That victim, who was not identified, was not injured.

From Story County Wooden led the pursuit through Hamilton County and then into Webster County.

Trooper Neil Morenz, of the Iowa State Patrol, said the fatal rollover happened at 5:21 a.m.

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari Iowa State Patrol troopers take measurements following a fatal rollover accident on U.S. Highway 169, south of Iowa Highway 7. The rollover marked the end of a multi-county pursuit of a stolen van that began in Story City.

Wooden was charged with domestic battery on Monday in Peoria County, Illinois, according to online reports. He was released from jail on Wednesday, the day before the pursuit, according to the Peoria County Jail’s website.

The Iowa State Patrol is handling the investigation of the chase.

This is the second pursuit in two weeks to end in death.

On Dec. 31, a Webster County sheriff’s deputy attempted to stop a vehicle driven by Matthew Hurley, 45, of Wall Lake, according to the Webster County Sheriff’s Department.

That pursuit ended near the intersection of Iowa Highway 175 and Oak Avenue, between Harcourt and Dayton.

Hurley is alleged to have exchanged gunfire with Sgt. Aaron Smidt, of the Iowa State Patrol, and Calhoun County Sheriff’s Deputy Chase Goodman, according to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

Hurley’s vehicle finally stopped in a field southeast of the intersection. Officers who approached it found Hurley dead inside the vehicle.

No cause of death has been disclosed.

The DCI is investigating.

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