Troopers arrest woman, 2 juveniles after car chase on I-15

Stock image | Photo by Barbol88/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — A 37-year-old woman is in jail facing multiple charges following an eventful late-night car chase that started in Iron County and ended with a foot pursuit in Beaver County.

Amber Lee Butler was booked into Iron County Jail on Sunday on suspicion of failing to stop at command of police and firearm possession by a restricted person, both third-degree felonies, along with several misdemeanor counts, including contributing to the delinquency of a minor, aiding a youth offender, possession of drugs and paraphernalia, falsely using another person’s identification, failing to remain at the scene of an accident and driving on a suspended or revoked license.

Two male juveniles who were riding inside the car that Butler was driving were also arrested and taken into custody. 

The incident began at approximately 11:30 p.m. Saturday when a Utah Highway Patrol trooper used radar to clock a black BMW going 96 mph on northbound Interstate 15, according to the probable cause statement filed in support of Butler’s arrest.

“I activated my emergency lights and pulled out to initiate a traffic stop,” the trooper wrote. “After about one minute I noted that the vehicle was not slowing down but had actually accelerated and I was slowly gaining on the subject vehicle and I was traveling about 130 mph in my patrol car.”

Iron County Jail booking photo of Amber Lee Butler, 37, Cedar City, Utah, Dec. 27, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News / Cedar City News

The pursuit lasted for approximately 40 miles, from mile marker 70 to mile marker 110, at a constant speed of 130 mph for much of the way, according to the affidavit.

Even though another UHP trooper deployed a spike strip at mile marker 103, causing the BMW’s right front tire to begin to unravel and disintegrate, the woman continued to drive north at high speeds. Then, at mile marker 109, a Beaver County Sheriff’s deputy deployed another spike strip that caused the left front tire to deflate.

“Near mile marker 110, the vehicle began to lose control and slowed down,” the trooper wrote in the affidavit. “With both front tires gone, the vehicle lost control and hit the cable barrier, coming to a stop.”

Shortly after the vehicle stopped, all three occupants exited the car and fled the scene on foot, the trooper wrote.

The two male juveniles, at least one of whom had a no-bail extraditable warrant out of Colorado, were eventually apprehended by police. Two loaded handguns were also recovered; one, a .22 caliber pistol, was found on the ground near where one of the juveniles had scaled a deer fence along the side of the interstate. The other firearm, a .38 caliber revolver, was later found with the help of a K-9 unit. It allegedly belonged to the other juvenile, who the affidavit said was a relative of Butler’s.

According to the affidavit, detectives in Colorado told UHP troopers they had been investigating the two juveniles in connection with a string of bank robberies when they observed them leaving a residence in the Denver area with an adult female in a black BMW on Dec. 23, with police reportedly losing track of the vehicle on westbound I-70.

Meanwhile, Butler was located by Beaver County Sheriff’s deputies Sunday morning. She initially gave her sister’s name and date of birth, police said, but later provided correct identification information. She was later transported to Cedar City and booked into Iron County Jail.

Troopers reportedly found suspected drugs and drug paraphernalia inside the vehicle, along with ammunition.

This report is based on information provided by law enforcement and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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