A 51-year-old man is in custody after leading Campbell County Sheriff Office (CCSO) deputies on a nearly 30-mile, hour-long high-speed pursuit Thursday morning that ended at Rawhide Mine.
The pursuit began after a woman called to report a maroon GMC Sierra flat-bed truck trespassing on her property in Recluse just before 10 a.m., according to CCSO Undersheriff Quentin Reynolds. The vehicle matched the description of a flatbed work pickup that had been reported stolen earlier that morning, Reynolds said.
A deputy spotted the vehicle as it turned off of a state access road leaving Recluse onto Highway 14-16, traveling southbound. The unidentified driver failed to stop when the deputy attempted to pull him over, traveling at speeds between 70 – 79 mph in a 70-mph zone.
A second deputy joined the pursuit and spike strips were successfully deployed near mile maker 88, popping the driver’s right front tire. The driver continued on a bare rim at speeds between 30 – 80 mph as the vehicle veered on and off the road and into the opposite lane before pulling into the west entrance of Peabody’s Rawhide Mine, where it crashed through the locked gate.
The driver then proceeded to careen in circles on the mine property for nearly 30 minutes, at times darting precariously close to mine haul trucks working in the field, Reynolds said, at one point running over and damaging an electrical cable.
When the driver attempted to exit the mine through the same road he’d entered, a third deputy was granted permission to conduct a pit maneuver, effectively pushing the car off the road into the dirt berm.
“They had concerns he was heading back to the highway (and toward Gillette),” Reynolds said, “so they wanted to put an end to the pursuit.”
The unarmed driver then exited through the passenger door and ran on foot through a field for about 50-60 yards, Reynolds said, before surrendering.
He was arrested on multiple charges including eluding, reckless driving, and trespassing. Damages are estimated at more than $50,000.
This was the third pursuit for CCSO since Saturday, including two within 24 hours.