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Two arrested following early Saturday morning car crash

Posted: Mon, Jan 6, 2020 1:45 PM

The Winneshiek County Sheriff's Office says one of its deputies attempted to make a traffic stop on Highway 52 south of Decorah around 12:30 Saturday morning.

Instead, the driver, 52-year-old Dale Smerud of Decorah, sped away from the deputy.  During the short pursuit, Smerud turned down a dead end ally and was apprehended.

Smerud was arrested and booked into the Winneshiek County Jail for operating while under the influence (meth/drug impaired), third offense possession of a control substance, failure to obey traffic control device, driving while suspended, and reckless driving.

Smerud also had a passenger in his car--37-year-old Tauren Gess of Calmar.  She allegedly fled from the deputy.  Gess was located a short time later hiding under a deck of a nearby home.  She was also taken to the Winneshiek Country Jail, where she was charged with third offense possession of a controlled substance (meth and marijuana), unlawful possession of prescription drugs, interference with official acts, and open container.