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Suspect in custody after Missoula County high-speed chase

Posted at 6:07 PM, Aug 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-23 23:54:19-04

MISSOULA – The Grangeville Police Department confirmed to MTN News that a male is in custody following a high-speed pursuit that spanned Missoula County on Thursday afternoon.

The pursuit ended when the driver hit spike stripes and was stopped at mile marker 120 on Highway 12, just over 50 miles west of Lolo Pass.

7:05 p.m. — More details have been released regarding a high-speed pursuit that ran through Missoula County on Thursday.

Missoula Police Department Sgt. Travis Welsh tells KPAX that police initiated a traffic stop at 3:25 p.m. Thursday on the 200 block of East Broadway.

Welsh reports that there were three occupants in the vehicle: a female driver and two male occupants. One of the males was allowed to leave.

The female driver was outside the vehicle talking to police when the other male occupant got into the driver seat and took off.

Welsh says that at the time of the traffic stop they were investigating if the male occupant, who has not been identified, had an outstanding warrant.

Police and Missoula County Sheriff’s deputies pursued the suspect through Missoula County. The pursuit went through the Northside, onto Interstate 90 westbound before the suspect made a U-turn on the interstate and took the Petty Creek exit in Alberton. The suspect drove on Petty Creek Road, then to Highway 12 north over the Idaho border.

Missoula law enforcement ended their pursuit when the suspect crossed Lolo Pass on Highway 12 into Idaho. Welsh says a U.S. Forest Service agent continued the pursuit in Idaho. As of 7 p.m. KPAX is unable to confirm if the suspect has been arrested in Idaho.

Welsh says they can’t confirm specifics on the warrant or suspect or why police initiated the traffic stop, as the incident is under investigation.

Welsh said he would have more information to release Friday.

5:46 p.m. — Missoula County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Brenda Bassett says that the suspect in Thursday’s high-speed chase is from Washington state.

Bassett says the suspect, who has not yet been identified, was wanted for a probation violation out of Washington.

The suspect was pulled over in a traffic stop at the intersection of Front Street and Higgins Avenue in downtown Missoula at around 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

Bassett says city and county officials have ended their pursuit, since the suspect crossed into Idaho. The Idaho State Police have continued the pursuit on Highway 12.

5:37 p.m. — Numerous law enforcement agencies were involved in a high speed chase with a suspect that started Thursday afternoon in downtown Missoula.

The pursuit started about 3:30 p.m. and went through Missoula’s Northside neighborhood before heading west on West Broadway.

The pursuit then went on I-90 westbound with speeds reaching up to 110 mph at one point. The suspect somehow made a U- turn then went east on Interstate 90 before taking the Petty Creek exit in Alberton.

The suspect continued along the two lane Petty Creek Road before intersecting with Highway 12. As of 5 p.m. the suspect crossed Lolo Pass heading into Idaho.

At about 5:30 p.m. authorities said they were no longer pursuing the suspect.

MTN has reached out to the Missoula Police Department and the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office for more information about the incident.

Reporting by Melissa Rafferty for MTN News