A Hannibal man faces multiple citations for various traffic offenses following a Monday night accident that saw the vehicle he was driving crash into the front entrance of the Hannibal Courier-Post building at 200 North Third St. following a high-speed pursuit.

A Hannibal man faces multiple citations for various traffic offenses following a Monday night accident that saw the vehicle he was driving crash into the front entrance of the Hannibal Courier-Post building at 200 North Third St.

following a high-speed pursuit.

According to Cpl. J. Alex Grote of the Hannibal Police Department, officers were called at 7:11 p.m. to the 1800 block of Booker Street in Hannibal for a report of a possible domestic disturbance.

Officers en route were advised that one of the subjects involved was 62-year-old Sterling E. Owens of Hannibal, who allegedly was driving a red pickup with a suspended driver’s license.

Officers with both the HPD and the Missouri State Highway Patrol saw Owens driving the pickup at MO 79 and Union Street where they initiated a traffic stop. When asked by officers to step out of the truck Owens instead fled from the scene, allegedly driving recklessly and at a high rate of speed, north on MO 79 (Third Street). Officers pursued Owens, who reportedly veered into the oncoming lane of traffic. At 7:17 p.m., as he approached the intersection of MO 79 (Third Street) and Center Street, Owens lost control and struck the southwest corner of the Courier-Post where the public entrance to the building is located.

Owens, who according to the MSHP sustained minor injuries, was transported by Marion County Ambulance to Hannibal Regional Hospital for treatment. Owens, who according to the MSHP was driving without insurance, was reportedly not wearing a safety device at the time of the mishap.

Following the crash Hannibal Building Inspector Joey Burnham applied a condemned label to the front entrance and closed off half the office area with caution tape. He said a structural engineer would need to assess the extent of the damage.

Managing Editor Eric Dundon reported Tuesday morning that it is estimated repairs to the building will take approximately a month to complete. In the meantime accommodations were being made Tuesday to serve walk-in customers at the newspaper office through a Third Street entrance that is typically only used by HCP staff members.

Dundon stressed that despite the accident production of the newspaper will continue as normal.

Monday's incident was not the first that resulted in property damage in the 200 block of North Third Street. In October 2002 the car of a driver who reportedly fell asleep struck two parked vehicles before going onto the sidewalk and hitting a tree at the Courier-Post.

Some time later a vehicle hit the brick building that houses both the Courier-Post and auto parts store about mid-block.

 

Reach reporter Danny Henley at danny.henley@courierpost.com