Prisoner Steals Vehicle, Crashes (UPDATE)

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Published on May 29 2012 6:04 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

A prisoner managed to steal the vehicle in which she was being transported in Effingham and lead law enforcement authorities on a chase until she crashed the vehicle at Vandalia.

40-year-old LaTonya Sanders of Oswego escaped from the holding area of the vehicle owned by a private extradition service, got in the driver's seat, and took off.  The personnel escorting Sanders had stopped at an Effingham convenience store and left the vehicle, giving Sanders the opportunity to make her move.

Local authorities gave pursuit and chased Sanders along the interstate east into Clark County.  Effingham County Sheriff John Monnet said Sanders heard a tracking radio that was giving the location of the vehicle so threw it out of the vehicle.  Monnet said the device was found laying on the ground under the 4th Street overpass in Effingham.  At some point, Sanders turned around and headed back west.  When police spotted the vehicle coming back through Effingham, then gave pursuit as far as Vandalia where state police placed stop sticks on the roadway to puncture the tires on the vehicle.  Even after the tires on the vehicle were damaged, Sanders continued until she lost control of the vehicle on the interstate off-ramp at Vandalia and overturned several times.  Monnet said that Sanders was pinned in the vehicle and had to be extricated. 

Sanders was injured in the crash and was airlifted to Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, but has since been released.

Monnet said Sanders is being taken on to Kane County, where she was headed when she made her escape.  The private agency transporting Sanders is based in Kentucky, but had gone to Mississippi to return her to Illinois.  Authorities say local charges are pending for the vehicle theft.