A 23-year-old Blue Springs man faces four felony charges and a misdemeanor citation after authorities say he battered a woman while driving, fled police and crashed into an innocent motorist.
The Jackson County Prosecutor's Office charged Joshua Blake Hardin with two counts of assault, resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance and driving with a revoked license.
He allegedly drove 85 mph through residential and retail areas on 39th Street.
According to court records, a nurse found a small bag of methamphetamine in Hardin's pants while treating him at Independence Centerpoint Hospital.
Hardin was treated Thursday night for minor injuries and booked into jail. The mother of his 1-year-old son suffered fractured ribs during the crash. The innocent motorist is on a ventilator at the Independence hospital
Events began unfolding when a woman called 911 about 2 p.m. Thursday to say she saw a man battering a woman in a white car as they were traveling on Interstate 470 near Todd George Road. The 911 caller followed the car.
"She added she witnessed the white male striking the white female at least 20 times with a closed fist in the face and body," according to court documents. "She stated she pulled alongside of the vehicle and the white female said the words, 'Help me.'"
She said the woman tried to leap from the vehicle at I-470 and Lakewood Boulevard but the man "pulled her back into the vehicle by her hair."
The vehicle got off I-470 onto I-70 westbound and the caller continued to follow the man. She eventually saw the man hit the woman "over 100 times with his fists," according to court documents.
Several other motorists also reported seeing the assault occurring.
"The victim was trying to get out of the vehicle," Officer Tom Gentry said. "The door would open at various times."
The man exited I-70 at Noland Road and police began to pursue him at Noland Road and 42nd Street. The man pulled into a Burger King parking and the woman again tried to escape the vehicle, but the man took off.
Police said the man drove recklessly and aggressively along 39th Street. The man allegedly raced 85 mph and ran red lights, leading to near misses. Eventually, the man would run a red light at Little Blue Parkway and crash into a gold Jeep Grand Cherokee, according to court documents.
The driver of the Jeep suffered multiple fractures and internal injuries. The man is on a ventilator in the intensive-care unit at the Independence hospital, authorities said.
According to court documents, Hardin denied hitting the woman and said the drugs were not his, but did admit to using meth 35 hours before the crash. He also said he fled police because the woman had drugs on her.
After the crash occurred just east of Independence Center Mall, the intersection was closed for seven hours.
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