A 28-year-old Montpelier man is in the Cache County Jail after he allegedly led officers from multiple agencies on a vehicle pursuit on Christmas Day.
Franklin County Sheriff’s officials say David S. Burkey was arrested for fleeing or attempting to elude a peace officer and driving under the influence following Wednesday’s pursuit.
The incident began around 9 p.m. when a witness reported that a semi with a trailer was failing to maintain its lane and had tried to run his vehicle off of the roadway.
A Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy responded to the junction of Highways 34 and 36 and spotted the semi. The witness pulled up next to the officer and also identified the vehicle at that time.
The deputy attempted to stop the semi on Highway 34, but it did not yield, according to a probable cause report. Instead, the driver continued traveling south, eventually reaching Preston, where a city officer joined the pursuit.
At that point, the driver turned onto Highway 91 and headed north.
As the pursuit continued, officers with Bannock Country Sheriff’s Office and Idaho State Police got involved.
Near Swanlake, a Bannock County Sheriff’s deputy deployed a spike strip in the area of Highway 91 and Redrock Road, which the semi struck, according to the report. But the vehicle continued traveling north toward Interstate 15.
The Franklin deputy reported seeing pieces of tire on the road, heavy smoke and gouges in the asphalt at that time.
Officers continued to pursue the vehicle through Downey. Bannock County and Idaho State Police vehicles blocked the interstate onramp, and the semi continued on for a short distance before stopping, according to the report.
Officers took Burkey, the lone occupant, into custody at that point.
Burkey told authorities he didn’t stop because he had been afraid for his safety. He claimed the witness, mentioned earlier, had pulled next to him, flipped him off and brake “checked him several times,” according to the report. He didn’t admit to trying to run the vehicle off the road, but did say he followed the vehicle closely and used his high-beam headlights on them.
Burkey also told authorities that he didn’t want to stop, partly, because he had been drinking, according to the report.
As of Thursday, Burkey was being held in the Cache County Jail in.