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Daily Journal staff report

WATSEKA — A Rossville man jumped into the Iroquois River Friday in an attempt to elude deputies after crashing a stolen car during a police chase, according to a press release from the Iroquois County Sheriff’s Department. Temperatures were in the single-digit range at the time of Friday’s incident.

Jeremiah Smith, 39, was arrested on multiple charges after officers pulled him from the river and transported him to Iroquois Memorial Hospital.

Iroquois County authorities were notified Friday by the Hoopeston Police Department of a vehicle theft. Hoopeston is located 55 miles south of Kankakee in Vermilion County, where Smith had led police on a chase Thursday night, according to the news release.

Local deputies located the vehicle heading north on Illinois Route 1 inside Watseka city limits and began pursuit Friday afternoon. The chase ended when Smith crashed the vehicle on Township Road 165, northeast of Watseka, police say.

After crashing, Smith fled the vehicle and jumped into the river, according to police reports.

Smith is facing charges of possession of a stolen motor vehicle, aggravated fleeing and eluding, and felony driving while license revoked.

Watseka Police Department and Illinois State Police assisted on scene.

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