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Wagner man charged with sixth DUI after 70-mile, 120-mph chase through Charles Mix County

The pursuit began in Wagner, looped around the county, and ended within 2 miles of the Nebraska border.

Wagner Police.jpg
A patrol vehicle for the Wagner Police Department. Mitchell Republic file photo

WAGNER, S.D. — A Wagner man is facing his sixth DUI charge after police say he took them on a 70-mile chase through Charles Mix County that saw speeds of nearly 120 mph.

Corey Frankenstein, 32, of Wagner, was charged with his fifth DUI in 10 years, aggravated eluding and driving with a revoked license after police caught up and arrested him in a field near the Nebraska border.

At approximately 2 a.m. on March 26, a police officer in Wagner was patrolling the town when he witnessed a vehicle turn onto Front Avenue and drive northbound in the southbound lane.

When the officer activated his emergency lights, the vehicle slowed down and pulled to the side of the road, but failed to come to a complete stop, continuing to roll down the road at about 6 mph. The vehicle then took off northbound on Front Avenue, leaving Wagner city limits at 91 mph.

With minimal traffic and dry road conditions, the officer decided to pursue the vehicle.

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According to court documents, the vehicle reached 97 mph traveling north on 395th Avenue and passed a vehicle traveling the same direction. After turning east, the vehicle reached speeds of 99 mph, slowed down to 53 mph and sped back up to 90 mph.

As the pursuit continued, the vehicle eventually turned south onto South Dakota Highway 50, where it reached speeds of 118 mph.

Outside of his jurisdiction, the police officer from Wagner handed the lead of the pursuit over to a Charles Mix County deputy, but continued the pursuit in a secondary role.

An officer from the Yankton Sioux Tribal Police also joined the pursuit and was able to identify the driver of the vehicle as Frankenstein. Dispatch advised officers Frankenstein's license was revoked.

Eventually, as the pursuit came within two miles of the Nebraska border, officers lost sight of the vehicle. They later discovered it hidden in some trees about one-quarter of a mile into a field. In total, the pursuit covered approximately 70 miles.

Frankenstein was found in the drivers seat of the vehicle and placed under arrest.

While officers were speaking with Frankenstein, they smelled an odor of alcohol emitting from his body. Nearly an hour and a half after the pursuit had begun, a preliminary breath test registered a .110% blood alcohol content.

He was taken to the Wagner hospital for a blood draw before being transported to the Charles Mix County Jail, where another breath test registered a .119% result.

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Frankenstein now faces two felonies and two misdemeanors, charges which could result in up to 12 years in prison and a $24,000 fine.

After initial appearances on Monday and Tuesday, he's set to appear in a Charles Mix County courtroom for a preliminary hearing on April 12.

A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications Company as a reporter for the Mitchell (S.D.) Republic in June 2021 and now works as a digital reporter for Forum News Service, focusing on regional news that impacts the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
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