Driver eludes officers on foot following high-speed vehicle chase that began in Toquerville

A Washington County Sheriff's deputy's vehicle leaves the scene after an unsuccessful search to locate a driver that led officers on a pursuit that ended up near Kanarraville, Iron County, Utah, Nov. 15, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

IRON COUNTY — A driver managed to elude capture following a vehicle pursuit that involved sheriff’s deputies from both Iron and Washington counties Monday night.

A Cedar City Police officer’s vehicle is parked on a dirt road during the search for a driver that led officers on a pursuit that ended up near Kanarraville, Iron County, Utah, Nov. 15, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Deputy Graham Hancock of Washington County Sheriff’s Office said the incident started when a deputy attempted to pull over a dark-green Dodge Durango for a suspected registration violation in Toquerville.

After initially slowing down, the vehicle sped up, reaching speeds of about 90 mph in a 60 mph zone on northbound SR-17 until it reached Interstate 15, Hancock told St. George News.

“The vehicle continued on to the northbound freeway and the pursuit continued,” Hancock said, adding that the pursuing deputy was in communication with dispatchers during the chase.

An Iron County Sheriff’s deputy who was staged near mile marker 51 was able to successfully deploy a spike strip to flatten at least one of the vehicle’s tires.

The Durango’s driver then got off I-15 at the Hamilton Fort exit and headed south on Old Highway 91 before turning east onto a dirt road known as Kanarraville Mountain Road.

“The Washington County Deputy continued the pursuit, but being a dirt road it was picking up a lot of dust,” Hancock said, adding that the deputy then slowed down for safety reasons, to create more distance between the vehicles.

“He could no longer see the vehicle or its taillights but was following the dust trail,” Hancock said.

A Dodge Durango is impounded after its driver reportedly led officers on a pursuit that ended up near Kanarraville, Iron County, Utah, Nov. 15, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Soon thereafter, the pursuing deputy reportedly spotted the vehicle stopped off the side of the road, partially hidden by trees.

“At that point, the deputy exited his vehicle and began giving verbal commands towards the vehicle, but the vehicle was unoccupied,” Hancock added.

Officers then looked for the driver for nearly two hours, with a Washington County K9 officer joining the effort, along with an Iron County Sheriff’s helicopter that repeatedly circled the area.

At approximately 9:30 p.m., authorities called off the search. The vehicle was impounded and taken by tow truck to the Iron County Sheriff’s Office building.

Tuesday morning, Iron County Sheriff’s Lt. David Mitchell said the registered owner of the vehicle had not yet been located.

“However, we are not actively looking for him at this time,” Mitchell told Cedar City News. “We know who he is and will assist Washington County units to locate this individual if needed.”

This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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