ST. GEORGE — After a high-speed car chase hitting up to 100 mph, Utah Highway Patrol troopers caught up to an alleged car thief Sunday morning.
Reports had said that a blue Hyundai Sonata was stolen from Cedar City, said Utah Highway Patrol Sergeant Larry Mower.
The suspect allegedly asked the vehicle’s owner, who works for delivery service DoorDash, for a ride. Cedar City Police Sergeant Clint Pollock said the driver declined.
“Then she went into a restaurant, and the suspect got into her vehicle and drove away,” Pollock said.
Troopers spotted the Hyundai traveling south on Interstate 15.
“It was missing its rear bumper,” Mower said. “That made it easier to identify.”
After leading troopers on a chase, the driver took exit 16, near Hurricane, before he crashed the car, Mower said.
“He was going too fast to make the curve,” Mower said. “He went airborne twice before landing nose-down in a gully.”
Officers said the driver then fled on foot before troopers finally caught up to him. Mower said that Trooper Chris Lewis asked the driver if he had been drinking or done any drugs.
“The driver said that whatever he had done, it was still in his system,” Mower said. “He said it made him a better driver.”
After being transported to the hospital, the driver was booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility in Hurricane on charges of evading law enforcement, possession of a stolen vehicle — both felonies — and driving while under the influence.
The Hyundai was likely totaled, Mower said.
Ed. Note: A new Utah law generally prohibits the release of arrest booking photos until after a conviction is obtained.
This report is based on preliminary 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.
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