JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. — A man is facing second-degree murder charges after he struck and killed a woman while he was trying to get away from Arnold police last month.
On Sept. 2, Arnold police officers tried to stop a car that had no license plates in the 2000 block of Key West Drive, according to a probable cause statement. The driver of the car, identified as Dustin Fernow, drove off. The officers followed him.
Fernow drove erratically, trying to strike the officers. At one point, on Highway 141, the officers’ vehicle was parallel to Fernow’s. He then “purposefully and violently” swerved his vehicle in the direction of the officers’ vehicle, the statement said. He struck the passenger side of their vehicle and continued driving. The officers temporarily lost control and the vehicle ended up in a grass median.
The officers got back on the road and continued to follow Fernow into the parking lot of Ridgewood Middle School, where Fernow tried to strike three other Arnold police vehicles. As one officer was trying to get spike strips out of the back of his SUV, Fernow accelerated toward him, striking the front of his SUV, the statement said.
Fernow drove away from the school parking lot and back onto Highway 141. Without stopping or yielding for oncoming traffic, Fernow struck a vehicle, injuring two women inside. They were both taken to the hospital.
The driver suffered five broken ribs and was being monitored for lung damage, the statement said. On Oct. 3, the passenger, Carroll Politte, died from her injuries. She never left the hospital.
The Jefferson County Prosecutor’s Office charged Fernow with second-degree murder and nine counts of first-degree assault, resisting arrest, property damage and armed criminal action.