UPDATE: 120 MPH Stolen Car Chase Ends With Flipped Car, Unconscious Suspect in Missoula
A high speed chase on I-90 ended with a flipped car and an unconscious suspect at about 8 a.m. November 8, near the corner of I-90 and Orange Street. The chase began when a trooper located a stolen car from Wyoming driven by a 23 year-old man.Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Paul Pfau began the chase after realizing the car had been reported stolen by the Laurel, Wyoming Police Department.
“I located a stolen vehicle a couple miles west of Clinton,” Pfau said. “I contacted the county to get some back up. So we coordinated with the county unit and was going to make a stop right near the Bonner exit. But as soon as I activated my top lights and the suspect saw me he took off. Speeds reached between 120 and 100 miles per hour as we approached Missoula.”
The highway patrol, along with Missoula Police and Missoula County deputies joined forces to try to stop the runaway vehicle.
“We had city officers occupying the exit ramps entering Missoula at Van Buren and also Orange Street,” Pfau said. “It happened so rapidly that we were unable to get spikes down by the city officer at Van Buren, so the vehicle drove around where he was and proceeded westbound toward Orange Street.”
Things went much differently at Orange Street where local law enforcement was able to put up barriers.
“At Orange Street we had several city and county units and stop sticks deployed,” Pfau said. “The driver attempted to steer around them, he lost control, went over the top of the stop sticks. He lost control, crossing all of the west bound lanes of traffic, through the gorge, and across the exit ramp at Orange Street until [the vehicle] came to rest on its top.”
No one was severely injured in the incident.
“[The driver] was apparently knocked unconscious. He was unrestrained,” Pfau said. “As soon as he regained consciousness, he was cooperative and able to comply with commands. He crawled out and surrendered.”
The suspect was taken to St. Pattrick Hospital, but had no obvious physical injuries. He will be held in Missoula County Jail as the investigation continues.