By David Hotle, The JOURNAL
IOWA CITY ? A West Chester man who was convicted last year of OWI third offense, a Class D felony, and sentenced to five years in prison was reportedly arrested early Monday in Iowa City after a ?short car chase? in which he ran into a pole.
Iowa City Police Department reported Justin Milam, 32, of West Chester, was taken into custody after the chase at 1 a.m. Monday. He is charged with interference with official acts, failure to yield to an emergency vehicle, improper rear lamps, driving while barred, and operating without an interlock device.
According to the police, they attempted to stop a vehicle about 1 a.m. Monday when it was found without taillights. But when officers attempted to pull the truck over, police say it took off, turning from Gilbert Street onto First Street eastbound. Police say the vehicle got about a block away when it ran into a pole near the railroad tracks. Police said Milam has been barred from driving due to being a habitual offender and that he?s required to have an interlock device in his vehicle, which he did not.
Washington County Attorney John Gish was not available for comment about why Milam was not serving a five-year prison sentence he was given in June 2017. Milam agreed to plead guilty to OWI third offense in exchange for a charge of involuntary manslaughter to be dropped for an incident in 2015 that claimed the life of Katherine Whetstine of Wellman.
According to reports, Whetstine was training for her second marathon when the accident took place. At about 5:09 a.m. on June 17, 2015, as Whetstine was running on Ginkgo Avenue in Wellman, just off Highway 22, a vehicle Milam was driving struck her and she suffered a traumatic brain injury. Reports said Milam reported the accident. AirCare took Whetstine to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City where she died on July 10, 2015, of her injuries.
Milam was arrested again in 2017 when after leading Washington County Sheriff?s deputies on a high-speed chase. According to the Washington County call log, Milam was arrested on May 20, 2017 in the 2700 block of Ginkgo Avenue in Washington. He was charged with driving with license under suspension, reckless driving, improper use of lanes, no insurance, speeding (102 in a 55), aggravated eluding and six counts of failure to obey stop signs.
After the 2015 incident, Whetstine?s family, including husband Jeff Whetstine, began an effort to raise money to build the Katherine Whetstine Memorial Fitness Trail in the City of Wellman?s North Park. The 2-mile trail will be an alternative for runners in Wellman.