By Assistant Chief Greg Russell
For Immediate Release
On 07-19-2020 at approximately 1346 hours, an Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper and Wister Police Officer Brandon Cooper entered the south city limits of Poteau in pursuit of a black 2014 Jeep SUV that had failed to stop for the Trooper.
A mechanical issue forced the Trooper out of the pursuit, but the Wister Officer continued to chase the Jeep northbound into Poteau on South Broadway. The pursuit continued northbound on Broadway until a motor vehicle collision occurred at North Broadway and Ben Klutts Drive.
The Jeep entered the intersection of North Broadway and Ben Klutts Drive northbound, left of center and collided with a black 2013 Nissan Pathfinder (driven by a 35 year old male from Spiro) that was in the intersection turning left onto Ben Klutts Drive. The collision forced the Jeep back and caused it to collide with the front of the Wister patrol car. The Jeep then rolled forward, hit the curb, continued into Burger King parking lot, and came to rest against a concrete island.
The driver of the Nissan was transported to Baptist Fort Smith by Leflore County EMS for incapacitating injuries to the head and trunk. The Wister Officer reported no injuries. The driver of the Jeep (Conor M. McLaughlin, 39, of Austin, TX) was transported to Eastern Oklahoma Medical Center by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol for non-incapacitating injuries to the arms and legs. McLaughlin was suspected of driving under the influence.
The motor vehicle collision was worked by Poteau Police. Criminal charges were filed by OHP.