Police Chase Stolen Semi on I-80 Before Deputy Forces it into Ditch

By Jeff Raasch


By Katie Stinson

CEDAR COUNTY, Iowa - Authorities chased a semi tractor on Interstate 80 before a Cedar County sheriff's deputy forced the driver off the road Monday night.

An Iowa State Patrol trooper came upon the semi, which had been reported stolen from Davenport, around 10:15 p.m. as it was westbound on I-80 near the Walcott exit. According to the state patrol's report, the driver ignored the trooper's lights and sirens and continued driving. The ensuing chase covered about 25 miles.

Multiple stop sticks punctured tires on the semi, but the driver kept going on the rims, the patrol said. The driver took Exit 265 and went toward Atalissa before turning onto gravel roads.

The chase ended when a Cedar County sheriff's deputy struck the semi with a department sport-utility vehicle near the intersection of 305th Street and Ivory Avenue. The semi tractor went into the ditch and got stuck.

The semi driver, identified as Elbert L. Karr Jr., 47, of Davenport, was taken into custody. Information about the charges against him was not immediately available.

No injuries were reported from the incident.

Karr has been convicted of operating a vehicle without the owner's consent four times, after incidents in 1997, 1999, 2003 and 2007, according to online court records. He also has convictions for second-degree theft, third-degree burglary, forgery and second-degree arson since 1996.

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