High-speed chase ends in fatal crash


April 29, 2019

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Montana Highway Patrol troopers measure the scene of a crash Sunday in Havre. A high-speed chase of a Hyundai Sonata reported stolen on Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation led to its crash with an Inifinity QVX SUV, killing the driver of the Sonata and leading to the hospitalization of a woman also in that car and the man driving the SUV.

Editor’s note: This corrects the spelling of Mount Joy, Pennsylvania.

A high-speed chase early Sunday morning of a vehicle reported stolen lead to a two-vehicle crash, killing the driver of the 2017 Hyundai Sonata reported stolen and the hospitalization of a passenger in that vehicle and the driver of the other.

Havre Assistant Chief of Police Jason Barkus said Sunday that officers were pursuing the vehicle reported stolen when at 4:09 a.m. Sunday, while it was westbound on First Street, it crashed into an eastbound vehicle near the intersection of First Street and 14th Avenue.

Montana Highway Patrol reports that the driver of the Sonata, listed by Havre police as a 26-year-old Havre man, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hill County Sheriff and Coroner Jamieson Ross said this morning that the name of the driver is being withheld pending notification of relatives.

The passenger of the Sonata, a 20-year-old Billings woman, was transported to Northern Montana Hospital.

The driver of the eastbound Infinity QX80 SUV, a 29-year-old Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, man, also was taken to the hospital.

A press release from Havre Police Department issued this morning said officers located the Sonata, earlier reported stolen on Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation, traveling on the 400 Block of 14th Avenue about 3:55 a.m. Sunday.

The officer used sirens and emergency lights to try to stop the vehicle, but the driver accelerated at a high rate of speed to evade the officer.

The driver headed eastbound on U.S. Highway 2 in wet driving conditions and very little traffic.

The officer requested assistance from the Hill and Blaine county sheriff's offices, the release said.

As officers approached Blaine County, they lost sight of the Sonata and ended the pursuit, the release said. An officer was stationed at the east end of Havre.

At 4:08 a.m., the officer saw the Sonata headed west into Havre at a high rate of speed, and started the pursuit, the release said.

The Sonata continued at a high rate of speed and the officer was unable to catch up, the release said.

As it approached the intersection of 14th Avenue and First Street, the Sonata collided with the Infinity SUV in the 1300 Block of First Street.

The Havre Police officer immediately began assisting the people in the vehicles, the release said.

The investigation has been turned over to the Highway Patrol, the release said.

Highway Patrol reported Sunday that speed was a factor in the crash, and drugs and alcohol have not been ruled out as factors.


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