(Gillette, Wyo.) On Tuesday evening at approximately 8:16 p.m., emergency personnel responded to 100 block of Villa Way off of Shoshone Avenue where a 55-year-old Gillette male, identified as Larry Maxfield, had reportedly driven a 2013 Chrysler 300 into a duplex, causing significant damage to the two residences within, law enforcement officials stated.
The Campbell County Sheriff’s Office received a report earlier of a drunk driver heading north on Highway 59 from Antelope Valley, and the information was passed along to the Gillette Police Department.
Gillette police officers saw a vehicle fitting the description of the vehicle from the report on Shoshone Avenue. Police say the vehicle was driving without it’s headlights on and attempted to make a traffic stop near the south Maverick gas station on Highway 59.
Maxfield reportedly fled from the traffic stop and accelerated away from the scene, heading west on Shoshone Avenue. Due to strict policies regarding in-town vehicle pursuits, the GPD officers’ on-duty supervisor terminated the pursuit, GPD Lt. Chuck Deaton said.
An on-duty sheriff’s deputy, who was patrolling nearby, witnessed the attempted traffic stop and the male fleeing from GPD officers. The deputy activated his lights and gave chase, following Maxfield as he drove up the hill on Shoshone Avenue.
On the far side of the hill heading east, Krista Wigner and her daughter, Maddi, were driving on Shoshone Avenue and witnessed a car flying over the top of the hill.
“He had to be going over 100 [mph] or faster,” Wigner wrote in message to County 17. She said she wished she could put into words the feelings she had when she saw those headlights coming over the hill at her.
“It was definitely the scariest thing either my daughter or I have ever witnessed,” she wrote.
Undersheriff Quentin Reynolds said the suspect’s vehicle left the roadway near Tanner Drive and crashed into a duplex residence on Villa way.
The suspect’s car tore through the duplex and stopped in one of the duplex’s backyards after smashing through a fence.
“He hit that curb and went flying into the house. The sound was so loud, it was surreal,” Wigner wrote. Wigner was not the only one to hear the crash, the sound of the impact was heard by many residents in the nearby area.
“I just heard it,” said Carol Larson, a resident of the neighboring duplex. She said the sound of the impact reminded her of dropping something on the floor from the counter. But she knew it had to be something bigger.
The pursuing deputy arrived at the scene moments after the car had crashed. Emergency responders arrived soon after.
Larson said that her initial thought when she saw the swarm of emergency personnel arriving was “I have to get out of here.”
She called her son, who lived a few houses away, and joined him at his residence.
“He [Maxfield] was breathing but unresponsive,” Reynolds stated. Maxfield had to be extricated from the vehicle and was transported to the hospital by EMS.
According to reports from first responders, the residents of the duplex were uninjured by the vehicle crash, although they will be displaced according the Campbell County Fire Department.
Larson said one of the residents–the one living closest to the road–were, luckily, on vacation.
Currently, the Wyoming Highway Patrol has taken over the investigation and is trying to determine what caused the crash. A warrant has been sought to initiate a blood draw from Maxfield.
No charges have been filed against him at this time.