December 24, 2012 - 12:00 AM

Stolen patrol truck leads to chase, crash


MORAN — A Chanute man is in custody following a wreck in which he crashed a stolen Neosho County sheriff’s pickup into an unsuspecting family’s utility vehicle on the north edge of Moran Saturday evening.
According to a Neosho County Sheriff’s Department press release, Charles E. Bruce, 29, was involved in a fight on U.S. 59 about 13 miles east of Chanute in rural Neosho County at about 6:45 p.m.
Bruce told a sheriff’s deputy he had been attacked.
As the deputy, who was not identified, investigated the incident, Bruce was placed in his patrol vehicle. The deputy reportedly closed the door and stepped a few steps away from the vehicle in order to use his portable radio when Bruce slid across the seat and drove off.
Deputies from Neosho and eventually Allen County and Kansas Highway Patrol troopers immediately responded to the area.
As officers pursued the unit, Bruce sped north on 59, through Moran, and then slammed head-on into a vehicle driven by Andy Shetlar, Spring Hill.
Shetlar was in the vehicle with his wife, Lindsey, and their two daughters, Aubrianna and Ella.
The impact from the collision obliterated the Shetlar vehicle’s engine compartment, while the patrol truck wound up in a nearby pasture about 100 yards from the highway.
According to a Facebook posting this morning from a family acquaintance, Lindsey Shetlar and Aubrianna Shetlar suffered the worst of the injuries.
Lindsey Shetlar was taken to Freeman Medical Center in Joplin, Mo., while Aubrianna was flown to a hospital in Springfield, Mo. Both suffered abdominal injuries.
Andy and Ella Shetlar were treated for their injuries at Allen County Hospital, as was Bruce. All were released.
Andy Shetlar is the son of Clyde Shetlar, Moran.