Taneytown suspect, trooper hospitalized after 2-county chase

June 17, 1992|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

A Taneytown man charged with leading police on a high-speed chase through two counties Monday and causing injuries to two state troopers is in stable condition at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.

Steven Douglas Sonn, 29, of the 400 block of Taney Drive, suffered head injuries when his speeding car stopped after running into several trees, a ditch and a stream, state police reported.

"We believe him to be intoxicated at the time of the incident. He was definitely driving with a revoked license," said Trooper James Emerick of the Westminster barracks.

"He had just been released for warrants and was out on bail from some very serious charges. He's in a heap of trouble." Emerick declined to specify the previous charges.

The chase began a little after 5 p.m. Trooper Darryl L. Morgan, of the Pikesville barracks, reported he was heading home on U.S. 40 in Howard County and spotted a blue Honda Civic traveling at more than 85 mph. When his attempts to stop the driver failed, he said, he called for backup on the police radio.

Cpl. Boyd Trantham said he was traveling west in the middle lane of Interstate 70, after it merges with Route 40, when he was rear-ended by a car driven by Sonn, who lost control of his car and spun into the path of Morgan, who had been following him.

Sonn then began driving east against the westbound traffic, where he stayed for 3 1/2 miles, police said.

"The other drivers had to clear a path for him as he tried to exit by the on-ramp from Maryland Route 32," Emerick said.

With Morgan pursuing from the eastbound lanes, Sonn lost control again, and his car spun around and began traveling west on the interstate, passing Trantham's disabled vehicle and exiting north on Route 97.

By this time, three other state police officers had joined the chase, two from Westminster and one from Waterloo. Sonn drove through an open field and over a private lawn trying to elude his pursuers, but ended up on Hoods Mill Road, state police reported.

He drove across a driveway, two private lawns and out into an open field as he tried to leave Hoods Mill Road, but struck a ditch and several trees in his path, officers said. Sonn's car finally stopped in a stream, where he reportedly got out and tried to escape on foot.

Sonn was caught and, because of his injuries, flown to the Maryland Shock-Trauma Center. Trantham was taken to the University of Maryland hospital with back and neck injuries and was listed in satisfactory condition.

Another trooper, William Lasnar of Waterloo, was treated for a cut and released.

Sonn was placed under guard. Police said that when he is released, he will face charges, including assault with intent to murder a police officer.

He will face traffic charges from each of the jurisdictions in which the chase occurred, Emerick said.

Sonn was carrying Canadian money and driving a car with New York plates, Emerick said.

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