POLSON – A routine traffic stop led to a Tuesday night high-speed pursuit and arrest in the Mission Valley.
A Polson police officer pulled over a vehicle near St. Joseph Hospital at around 7 p.m. for a traffic violation. Authorities say the driver was pulled over to the side of the road and then sped off before the officer got out of the patrol vehicle.
The officer then pursued the fleeing vehicle and learned that the vehicle had been reported stolen in Missoula. Polson Police say the chase reached speeds of up to 100 mph on U.S. Highway 93.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Flathead Tribal Police, Ronan Police Department and the Montana Highway Patrol joined to assist in the pursuit of the stolen vehicle as it neared Pablo.
Police say that the driver, who has been identified as Jay Vallejo, then drove off road several times through fields, a yard and an irrigation ditch before returning to the roadway.
Stop sticks were deployed on Clairmont Road, but police say Vallejo avoided them by driving through a yard. He did, however, hit several rocks forcing the vehicle to stop.
Vallejo was then taken into custody and was transported to the Lake County Jail in Polson. He faces several; traffic charges as well as a count of motor vehicle theft. Authorities also say that some stolen items are believed to be in the stolen vehicle.
No injuries were reported as a result of the pursuit.