CEDAR CITY – Utah Highway Patrol troopers chased a stolen vehicle for several miles Sunday night before the female juvenile driver and four male juvenile passengers, bailed out and fled on foot, authorities said. It was the second stolen vehicle incident the trooper patrolling Interstate 15 in the Cedar City area engaged that night.
The five juveniles were all captured with the assistance of several law enforcement agencies, Trooper Clay Allred said.
The chase began about 7 p.m. on Interstate 15 right after the vehicle passed the Cedar City north interchange headed southbound. At that time Allred, who had been following the car since Summit, turned on his lights and began pursuit.
With speeds sometimes as high as 130 miles per hour, Allred said, alleging the driver was going in and out of traffic for several miles before taking exit 42 where he slid off the road and crashed the car into a pole.
“The vehicle had been called in to dispatch as stolen even before it reached Summit,” Allred said. “We had Cedar City Police Department set up roadblocks at each of the exits except at the north interchange. So I let them pass that exit before I turned on my lights because I didn’t want to pursue them into city limits with all that traffic.”
Allred followed the vehicle until the New Harmony off-ramp where the suspects, after crashing the vehicle, allegedly jumped out of the vehicle and began traveling on foot.
Allred, who was ahead of the nearest sheriff deputy by a couple of minutes, said he was able to chase down the driver and one other suspect.
“I was able to capture (her) and another one of the passengers but the other three headed up to the freeway,” he said. “With the help of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Utah Highway Patrol in Washington County and the Iron County Sheriff’s Office we were also able to find and take the other three into custody.”
All five juvenile suspects were taken to the Iron County Youth Detention Center and charged with felony evading, possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of a stolen firearm and possession of drug paraphernalia. The driver was also charged with driving under the influence.
The vehicle was allegedly stolen from Colorado, Allred said.
Ed. note Dec. 21 at 10:15 a.m: CORRECTION: UHP Trooper Allred corrected particulars he had previously provided regarding gender of the juveniles involved in the high-speed chase; specifically, the driver was a female juvenile, he said Monday, while the passengers were male juveniles. Corrections made throughout this report.
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Earlier that night
The night was busy for troopers who just an hour earlier had stopped another stolen vehicle on I-15 at milepost 83.
Salt Lake City authorities had reported the vehicle stolen and in Cedar City earlier in the day, Allred said, but a thorough sweep of the city by police came up empty.
“We thought it had maybe gotten past us,” he said.
Later, Allred, who was patrolling I-15, came up on the vehicle from behind and recognized it from the description previously reported by dispatch.
Allred said he conducted a felony stop and took the male driver into custody. The suspect was charged with a second-degree felony for allegedly stealing a vehicle, a headlight violation and driving on a denied license.
Persons detained, arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact. Juveniles detained are not named for privacy considerations.
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