Police Chase Ends In SUV Crash, Drugs Found in Stolen Vehicle

By Jeff Raasch, Reporter

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By Richard Pratt

Cedar Rapids chase and rollover crash

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Police chased a stolen sport-utility vehicle at speeds of more than 100 mph Friday morning before it crashed at a busy southwest Cedar Rapids intersection.

Three people were hurt when the SUV ran the red light at 16th Avenue and Wiley Boulevard SW around 9:30 a.m. and hit a car, police said. A witness said the SUV rolled at least twice before landing on its wheels.

“Immediately, this guy gets out and runs,” said Mike Kriso, 41, of Cleveland, Ohio, who witnessed the crash. “This cop, I’ve got to hand it to him, he must have been a track star or something.”

Kriso said the officer tackled the driver and quickly had him in handcuffs. Police later identified the driver as 45-year-old Daniel R. Hite.

Sgt. Cristy Hamblin said Hite, a female passenger in the SUV and the driver of the car were all taken to area hospitals. Their injuries were not serious, she said.

An officer tried to stop the SUV around 9:25 a.m. in Czech Village. Police said it had been reported stolen in Oelwein in November. The driver sped away.

Paul Scheetz, 76, of Cedar Rapids, said he and his passenger saw the SUV run a red light at Sixth Street and 15th Avenue SW.

“He was really moving,” Scheetz said. “There were two cop cars right behind him, coming really hard, all with their lights and sirens going.”

Police deployed stop sticks near the intersection of 16th Avenue and Edgewood Road SW, but they were not successful. Kriso said the driver slowed a bit as he got close to Wiley Boulevard SW and maneuvered around a car before the northbound car collided with the SUV.

Kriso was walking along the sidewalk nearby, on his way for some breakfast.

“It was fast and furious, and then all of the sudden it was slow motion (as the SUV flipped),” Kriso said.

Police said Hite faces charges for possession of a stolen vehicle and driving with a suspended license, in addition to numerous traffic offenses. Hite also had meth, marijuana and pseudo-ephedrine pills in the stolen vehicle.

Online court records indicate Hite has been convicted at least eight times for drug possession since 2002. In November 2010 he pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana. Sentencing in that case was initially scheduled for Jan. 24, but was pushed back to March 16.

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