116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - A man fleeing authorities at speeds up to 115 mph was killed Wednesday morning when he was ejected as the minivan he was driving crashed, the Linn County Sheriff's Office said.
A passenger, trapped in the vehicle, was extricated and flown with serious injuries to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Authorities did not release the names of the male driver or female passenger.
The episode began at 3:49 a.m. when a Linn County deputy saw a silver Dodge Grand Caravan without license plates that appeared to be prowling a residential area in Atkins, the Sheriff's Office said.
After the minivan's driver ran a stop sign, the deputy tried to stop him but the driver refused and a chase began.
The chase went south from Atkins, then west on Highway 30. The pursuit continued south on Highway 21 into Belle Plaine and east on 77th Street Drive, until the pursuit ended at 4:09 a.m. when the driver went off the road and struck a culvert on 77th Street Drive near 14th Avenue Drive in Benton County.
The driver died at the scene. The passenger's injuries were not thought to be life-threatening, the Sheriff's Office said.
According to Linn County Sheriff's Office's policy, deputies may initiate a chase 'when it is reasonable to believe that a suspect, who has been given an appropriate signal to stop by a law enforcement officer, is attempting to evade arrest or detention by fleeing in a vehicle.”
The policy calls for deputies to the weigh seriousness of the crime, the safety of the community, the type of area, the time of day, the number of vehicles and pedestrians in area, the road conditions, the availability of backup and whether there are passengers in the suspect vehicle before initiating a pursuit.
If initiated, the policy says a chase should be ended 'whenever the totality of objective circumstances known, or which reasonably ought to be known to the deputy or supervisor during the pursuit, indicates that the present risks of continuing the pursuit reasonably appear to outweigh the risks resulting from the suspect's escape.”
The crash remains under investigation by the Iowa State Patrol.
John McGlothlen of The Gazette contributed to this report.