Crash car

Beth Baumann's vehicle was seriously damaged in a crash with an allegedly fleeing wrong-way driver.

ST. PETER — A chase was started and stopped three times before a wanted man crashed into another motorist while going the wrong way on Highway 169, charges say.

George Marten Williamson, 31, who doesn’t have a permanent address, was charged Monday in connection with the chases and crash that shut down the highway Friday.

He is charged with felony counts of fleeing police and drug possession, gross misdemeanor criminal vehicular operation and misdemeanor reckless driving in Nicollet County District Court.

According to the court complaint and a Nicollet County Sheriff’s Office news release:

Officers from multiple agencies were looking to arrest Williamson on several warrants in multiple states and he was spotted in the Family Fresh parking lot. Williamson had felony warrants in Illinois, where he was listed as “armed and dangerous,” and Texas, as well as parole violation warrants in Iowa and Nebraska.

Two members of the Nicollet County Sheriff’s Office tried to pull him over but Williamson fled. The pursuit was called off after Williamson ran two stop signs.

The chase resumed after Williamson was spotted again a short while later and was called off again out of concern for the risk to the public because Williamson was driving more than 70 mph in a 30 mph zone.

The pursuit resumed on southbound Highway 169 and again was called off after Williamson reached 100 mph and went over a median and was going south in the northbound lane.

He crashed into a northbound vehicle driven by Beth Baumann, 22, of St. Peter. Both Williamson and the other driver were taken to the Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato with non-life-threatening injuries.

In a social media post Baumann said she only had minor cuts and bruises.

“I literally blinked and all of a sudden bang,” she wrote. “A truck hit me head on and my vehicle spun out and I went in the ditch. I was scared. I didn’t know what to do. I saw multiple sheriffs and police officers running towards my car.”

Williamson got out and ran down the highway after the crash but did not get very far before he was apprehended.

He had a backpack with him as he ran. Inside authorities found a baggie of methamphetamine and a syringe.

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