Juvenile, Trooper Uninjured in Parks Highway Pursuit Rollovers
Alaska State Troopers say a Parks Highway pursuit ended without injuries near Talkeetna early Wednesday, after a stolen SUV driven by a 17-year-old Palmer boy and a trooper’s vehicle hit ice and rolled over.
According to a Wednesday AST dispatch, the chase leading to the 3:40 a.m. arrest began near Mile 36 of the highway, where troopers saw the juvenile speeding, driving erratically and failing to dim his headlights.
“The juvenile failed to stop when signaled to do so and drove recklessly at high rates of speed,” troopers wrote. “During the pursuit AST learned that the juvenile's vehicle, a 1997 Toyota RAV4, had been reported to the Palmer Police Department as stolen a few minutes prior to the attempted stop.”
AST spokesperson Megan Peters says in an email that the highway where the crashes occurred, at Mile 99 near the Parks’ junction with Talkeetna Spur Road, was dry -- save for the ice which caused the rollover crashes of first the juvenile and then the trooper.
“One of the trooper vehicles that was assisting in the pursuit also hit the same patch of ice and began to slide,” Peters wrote. “Instead of running into other vehicles, the trooper was able to direct his patrol vehicle toward the opposite ditch.”
Peters says four AST vehicles were involved in the pursuit, which saw both the juvenile -- the SUV’s sole occupant of the SUV -- and troopers frequently reach speeds of 80 mph.
“Another (AST) vehicle hit the ice too, but they were slowing down when they hit it,” Peters said. “Everyone involved was wearing seat belts.”
The juvenile, who wasn’t named due to his age, was remanded to the Palmer Juvenile Detention Center. He faces charges of first-degree vehicle theft, felony eluding, reckless driving and no valid operator’s license.
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