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MOUNT PLEASANT — A woman and her children avoided major injury after a high-speed crash Wednesday afternoon on Durand Avenue, just west of its intersection with Highway 31.

The man driving the vehicle, a Dodge Durango, allegedly was speeding in excess of 70 mph, according to witnesses, and swerving while headed east on Durand. According to the Mount Pleasant Police Department, the vehicle came upon backed-up traffic after coming over the crest of a hill and swerved off the road.

After driving over and damaging a culvert underneath a driveway, knocking over a bus stop sign and nearly striking a utility pole, the Durango came to rest in the front yard of a home in the 6600 block of Durand Avenue, near the intersection with Cozy Acres Road.

The driver, 26-year-old Joseph Balderas, allegedly fled the vehicle after the crash, ran across Durand and hid in nearby woods north of Stewart-McBride Park, according to police. A Sturtevant Police K-9 officer was the first on the scene and joined the search.

Officers eventually found Balderas lying on the ground in the woods. He was arrested without incident and taken to the Racine County Jail.

According to the MPD, Balderas was cited for hit-and-run causing injury and reckless driving causing injury.

Two ambulances responded to the scene, but neither had to transport anyone. The woman in the vehicle suffered injuries to her right arm and wrist but was taken to the hospital by a family member. The children did not suffer any serious injuries, according to police.

The crash forced a section of the right lane of Durand to close temporarily, leading to a traffic slowdown that lasted for about 90 minutes. Traffic is already prone to slow near the Highway 31-Durand intersection, in part because of ongoing road construction in the area.

South Shore Fire Department also responded to the scene.

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Reporter

Before the JT hired him, Adam graduated from St. Cat's in 2014 and Drake University in 2017. He covers homelessness and Caledonia, is the JT's social media leader, believes in the Oxford comma, and loves digital subscribers: journaltimes.com/subscribenow

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