Early Wednesday morning, a juvenile led Alaska State Troopers on a chase that ended in the ditch near the intersection of the Parks Highway and the Talkeetna Spur Road. The pursuit began near Mile 36 of the Parks, where a Trooper attempted to stop the driver for speeding, failure to dim headlights, and erratic driving. Instead of pulling over, the 17 year old male sped off. The Trooper learned shortly thereafter that the 1997 Toyota Rav4 that he was pursuing had been reported stolen just a few minutes before the attempted traffic stop.
The chase continued for over sixty miles, then ended abruptly when the stolen Toyota hit a patch of ice and veered off of the highway, according to Trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters. One of the two Trooper vehicles involved in the pursuit hit the same patch of ice and began to slide. The Trooper was able to keep enough control of the vehicle to end up in the southbound ditch in order to avoid potentially sliding into oncoming traffic. The Trooper’s vehicle rolled onto its roof once it was in the ditch. Neither the Trooper or the juvenile driver were injured, and both were wearing seat belts.
The driver was taken to Palmer, where he was charged with vehicle theft, eluding, reckless driving, and driving without a valid license.