Collision with pole prompts discovery of stolen truck, drugs
A collision with a light pole at the Highway 37-60 intersection in Monett on Wednesday led to the arrest of the driver and his passenger on unrelated charges.
According to Monett Police, Joshua Rust, 35, of Pierce City, was driving north on Highway 37 when he reached the intersection at Highway 60 and turned east in a Chevrolet pickup. Rust lost control and collided with a steel pole holding a light to illuminate the intersection, knocking it to the ground.
Witnesses in the intersection reported Rust left the scene. They followed him calling in the collision to the Monett dispatch center. Rust pulled off the road at the Pizza Hut restaurant, east of the bridge over Waldensian Road, as did the witnesses who waited for officers.
Upon arrival, officers determined the pickup truck had been stolen from Adrian, in Bates County. Rust's passenger, Larissa Wise, 22, of Verona, was wanted on a Barry County warrant for failure to appear in court.
Rust was arrested for first degree tampering with a motor vehicle and possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine).
Wise was taken into custody on the outstanding warrant, plus unlawful use of a weapon for having a firearm in the vehicle, possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), and second degree tampering.
Lt. Greg Bandsma, with Monett police, said the disposition of the pickup had not been resolved at press time and additional charges may be pending. He expected the subjects would be transferred to the Barry county jail.
"It was helpful that the witnesses at the intersection called us and monitored where the pickup went," Brandsma said. "You never know what can happen when you have someone in a stolen vehicle with a gun."