Alleged Car Thief Charged in 5-Car Accident

Alleged Car Thief Charged in 5-Car Accident

Police arrested a Florissant man who allegedly stole a Lexus from a car dealership and triggered a five-car accident Wednesday.

According to officials with the Missouri Highway Patrol, 21 year-old Dawite Derjew stole a 2006 Lexus from the Dave Mungenast car dealership shortly after 9:00 a.m. Wednesday. Police say the man sped away from the lot on Lindbergh Boulevard, lost control of the vehicle and crossed the centerline into oncoming traffic.

A police crash report says the Lexus struck the side of a Ford Ranger driven by 63 year-old Micahel McGaughey near the Industrial Lane intersection. The Lexus continued traveling north down the road and collided with a Ford Explorer driven by 22 year-old Katherine Scheiwe. The force of the impact caused the Explorer to spin out and hit a Chevrolet K1500 driven by 51 year-old Theodore Rodgers. The Lexus then smashed into a Mercury Sable driven by 65 year-old William Wandling.

Troopers with the Missouri State Highway Patrol say Scheiwe and Wandling both sustained serious injuries in the crash. Police described McGaughey’s injuries as minor. All three drivers were transported to DePaul Hospital for treatment.

Officials say Derjew was ejected from the Lexus and was found semiconscious on the roadway. He was also taken to DePaul for treatment.

Derjew has been charged with stealing a motor vehicle, first-degree property damage, and resisting arrest. He is being held in lieu of a $10,000 bond.