WATAB TOWNSHIP -- A wanted man's whereabouts are unknown after an attempted traffic stop and police chase in Benton County Wednesday night.

The Benton County Sheriff's Office says around 9:00 p.m. a deputy was heading south on Highway 10 near 115th Street NW. The deputy saw two vehicles turn onto southbound Highway 10. A van driven by 51-year-old Orville Axelson Jr of Beloit, Wisconsin committed several violations.

Authorities stopped Axelson's vehicle at the top of an exit ramp at County Road 33. After making contact with Axelson, he told police he committed the violations in an attempt to stay close to his sister, who was driving ahead of him. He initially claimed his van had no insurance, then told deputies his sister had insurance on the vehicle.

As police attempted to make contact with his sister, Axelson sped away from the scene, and drove into the ditch a few miles away. An adult woman who had been in the passenger seat of the van was now in the driver's seat. Deputies learned Axelson had jumped from the vehicle while it was moving and ran into the wooded area near Frost Road.

The area was searched by several agencies including K-9 units. Axelson was not found during the search. The passenger in his van and his sister were not arrested. The investigation into Axelson's whereabouts is ongoing.

Axelson may face criminal charges around his traffic violations and fleeing police.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Benton County Sheriff's Office at 320-968-7201.

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