FAIRMONT CITY, IL (KTVI) – A high speed car chase has left an eighteen year old Caseyville woman dead and a convicted felon on the run in Fairmont City, Illinois. Police say the entire incident stemmed from an argument over a bag of marijuana.
It began early Monday morning. Police will only call it a “dispute over marijuana,” but the dead girl’s mother says there was a robbery.
“It was they kicked in the door and robbed them of their money and stole some pot I guess,” Lisa Ferraire-Darron said in an interview near the crash scene Monday.
Where police and Ferrarie-Darron agree is on what happened next. The group that included her daughter, Mercedes Ferrarie-Troisi piled into a Buick and began chasing the other group involved in the fight. They eventually reached the parking lot of the Rural King store in Collinsville, where there was another altercation. Ferrarie-Darron says a gun was pulled. That’s when the roles reversed, with the group in the Buick now on the run.
Police say the driver of the second vehicle, a GMC Denali, was Donald Joseph Friese. They believe he caused the two vehicles to crash. The Buick rolled over, ejecting Mercedes Ferrarie-Darron, then rolling onto her. The eighteen year old from Caseyville was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police say Friese ran from the scene on foot. They’re still looking for him.
“I woke up and had texts on my phone that they had kicked in the door and robbed them,” the mother said. “And the next thing you know I got a phone call and somebody saw on Facebook before I even got the message that I needed to get down there that there was a fatality.”
Police say none of it should have happened.
“Poor impulse control and poor decisions resulted,” Fairmont City Police Chief Scott Penny said. “Two cars chasing each other at more than 100 miles per hour according to the witnesses here. A young woman lost her life and serious criminal charges are going to result for at least one of the individuals here.”
Mercedes Ferrarie-Troisi was just days from her nineteenth birthday, and making a fresh start, according to her mother.
“She was just starting a full time job today. She got her new car today. She was supposed to move into her new apartment today. Her birthday’s Friday. This was supposed to be something new for her and now she’s got nothing. She’s gone.”
As for the man police are looking for, he’s no stranger to them. Donald Joseph-Friese is listed on the Federal Bureau of Prisons website as being under supervision of the Community Corrections office in St. Louis. He had about three more months to serve.
A 2007 St. Louis Post-Dispatch article reports he and his father were indicted by a federal grand jury for stealing 2 bullet proof vests and an M-4 rifle from the car of a U.S. Marshal, then attempting to trade them for crack cocaine.
The victim’s mom has no love lost for Friese.
“I’d be happy if he was dead and wouldn’t blink an eye for two seconds. That’s the man who should have died in that accident not my child.”
If you have any information on the whereabouts of Friese, you can contact Fairmont City Police at 618-274-4505 or CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS (8477).