Linn County Chase Ends on Gravel Road; Suspect Eludes Police
By Jeff Raasch, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A police chase that started near downtown Cedar Rapids early Tuesday morning ended about 16 miles later with a crash near Fairfax.
The man who had been driving the white Ford pickup was not at the crash site, near Sisley Grove Road and Morgan Valley Road SW. A search involving police dogs yielded no arrests.
"We have a pretty good idea (of who it is)," Sgt. Cristy Hamblin said.
Officers tried to stop the pickup around 2:05 a.m. Tuesday at Fifth Avenue and 10th Street SE. They had noticed the pickup in a parking lot in the 700 block of Fifth Avenue SE with a license plate that was supposed to be attached to a black sport-utility vehicle. A chase ensued that lasted more than 20 minutes, police said.
The driver zigzagged to the west and ran at least five stop signs before taking H Avenue NE to get under Interstate 380. After a taking Shaver Road NE, the driver took Wenig Road NE, where he was reportedly going 60 mph. Officers clocked him again on Glass Road going 55 mph, before running a stop light and turning south on Edgewood Road NE, police said.
After crossing the Cedar River, the driver turned west onto Ellis Road and passed the city limits.
Police continued the pursuit, but backed off, as Ellis Road turns to gravel west of Covington Road. Conditions there led police to make a change.
"It was kicking up lots of dust, so they backed off for the guy's safety and for the safety of the officer, as well," Hamblin said.
The driver turned south on Sisley Grove Road SW and crossed Highway 30 before crashing into a ditch at the T-intersection of Morgan Valley Road SW, police said.
During the pursuit, the driver had occasionally turned his lights off, police said. Hamblin said stop sticks were not deployed because it was hard to predict what route the driver was going to take.
Police impounded the pickup, but had not located the driver by mid-day Tuesday. Police said he was a white man. An investigation was continuing.
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