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OELWEIN – An Oelwein man is in jail after allegedly leading police on a chase and slamming into a squad car Monday night.

The crash sent an Oelwein police officer to the hospital, according to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office.

The driver of the fleeing vehicle, Blayze Lee Harding, 26, wasn’t injured. He was arrested for felony eluding and possession of methamphetamine and marijuana. Corrections officials are also seeking to revoke his parole in connection with a 2018 pursuit.

His passenger also escaped injury, and the case remains under investigation.

According to the sheriff’s office, a deputy attempted to stop a Nissan Xterra in the 600 block of Highway 150 south of Oelwein around 11:19 p.m. Monday because it was driving without headlights. The driver refused to stop, and the chase continued, reaching speeds of up to 70 mph in a 25 mph zone until the Xterra ran a stop sign and crashed into the police patrol car.

Crews with Mercy One Ambulance took the police officer to Mercy Hospital for treatment.

Police found meth and marijuana in the Xterra, and police said Harding admitted to using meth.

Court records show that Harding was released from prison in September 2019 after serving time for a chase in Johnson County about a year ago. In that case, authorities allege Harding was on the phone during the Nov. 21, 2018, pursuit, and his 3-year-old son was a passenger. Authorities deflated his tires with Stop Sticks, but he continued to drive until he reached a friend’s house, court records state.

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