UPDATE: After interviewing the suspect, Ferguson said the suspect admitted to running from the officer only to get out of a speeding ticket.
“When he saw the Arizona officer, he assumed he didn’t have anything to lose,” Ferguson said. “In talking to him, there was nothing serious in his background. Nothing in the truck we could find. Nothing on him.”
Ferguson said the suspect is facing felony charges in both states.
“He went from 84 to 55 speeding ticket, to felony evading in two states and one totaled truck. He risked a lot of peoples lives and safety over a speeding ticket,” he said.
ST. GEORGE – A Utah County man is being released from the hospital and being taken to jail after leading officers in two states on a high-speed chase.
Sgt. Dan Ferguson with the Utah Highway Patrol said a 29-year-old man from Utah County led officers on a chase of speeds up to 100 mph after an officer from Arizona Department of Public Safety tried to pull the man over going 84 mph in a 55 mph zone through The Gorge.
Ferguson said the driver increased his speed after seeing the officer and began passing vehicles on the left to allegedly avoid being pulled over.
“At 4:31, he crossed over state lines into Utah,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson and two other officers responded to Exit 4 where they laid down a set of spikes to stop the man. At that time, officers with the St. George Police Department were in the area slowing down traffic.
Ferguson said the man hit the spikes, but that the spikes did not have time to take effect.
“Everything was his own doing, it had nothing to do with us,” Ferguson said. “There is no possible way the spikes took effect that fast. “
Ferguson said immediately after hitting the spikes, the red Dodge pickup went into a cloud of dust and the officer could not see anything for about 60 seconds.
A construction worker at the Dixie Drive Interchange said the truck drove into a small strip of road that was closed off between a median and a parapet. The worker saw the truck hit a pile of rocks, catapult into the air and land on the barrier.
Ferguson confirmed the truck hit the rocks driving northbound and ended up high-centered in the southbound area of Interstate 15.
Ferguson said the suspect then kicked out the passenger window of the truck and tried to run on foot.
“Between us and St. George, he was pretty well caught within seconds,” he said.
Ferguson said the man has a California and Utah driver’s license and that officers “do not have a clue why he was running.”
“It was one hell of a joint effort between the Utah Highway Patrol, Arizona Highway Patrol and the St. George Police Department,” he said. “There was no way I was going to chase him in the construction zone the way he was. It was just a really good coordinated effort between the law enforcement down here.”
Ferguson said the suspect is at Dixie Regional Medical Center to be cleared by doctors before being taken to Purgatory and being interviewed.
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