Man leads truck chase | SteamboatToday.com
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Man leads truck chase

Christine Metz

A 30-year-old Grand Junction man was arrested early Wednesday after allegedly taking law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase from Steamboat Springs to Moffat County.

A white Chevrolet pickup carrying a driver and two passengers was spotted speeding in Steamboat Springs and failed to stop when an officer turned on emergency lights, Police Capt. Joel Rae said.

The driver, Jason Thomas Spann, reached speeds of as much as 100 mph as he fled authorities, driving west on U.S. Highway 40 for more than 30 miles, police and sheriff reports indicate. Spann was stopped about three miles past the Moffat County border by Moffat County sheriff’s deputies and Craig police officers who were waiting for him on the highway.

Authorities also suspected Spann had been drinking alcohol that night, but Spann refused to take a blood test to determine whether he was intoxicated, Rae said.

Alexander Muth, 34, and Joseph Charles Orris II, 41, were in the pickup when it was pulled over, and they told authorities they all had been drinking at The Tugboat Grill & Pub earlier in the evening. Muth and Orris said they had asked Spann to slow down, and Muth said he had asked to be let out of the truck in Steamboat.

Spann was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, vehicular eluding, reckless driving, speeding and reckless endangerment.

The incident began just after midnight, when Spann passed a Steamboat Springs patrol car at high speeds heading west on Lincoln Avenue, Rae said. Police Officer Doug Scherar turned on his emergency lights and sped up to pull over Spann, who reportedly drove faster through town and passed a tractor-trailer. Scherar lost sight of the truck near the KOA campground and aborted the chase at Steamboat II, police reports state.

Scherar radioed Routt County Communications to notify the Colorado State Patrol and the Routt County Sheriff’s Office about the speeding vehicle.

Near Routt County Road 27, which is just east of Hayden, Routt County Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Carson clocked the truck traveling 74 mph in a 65 mph zone. Carson turned on his overhead lights and followed the truck in an effort to stop Spann, who continued driving west and approached speeds of 95 mph.

Spann pulled away from Carson as they came into Hayden. He slowed down, allowing the deputy to get within 150 yards of the truck. Spann then quickly accelerated, passing two drivers heading west through the center of town.

On the west side of Hayden, Spann continued to travel at high speeds, reaching about 100 mph, Carson stated in his report. Carson lowered his speeds because of the curvy and ice-covered roads.

At the Moffat County line, Carson turned off his lights, and a Moffat County sheriff’s deputy started pursuing the truck. Carson lost sight of both vehicles, but a sheriff’s deputy had radioed that the car slowed to about 30 mph, about two miles past the county line.

Spann stopped about one mile farther down the road. When Carson arrived on scene, several patrol vehicles had surrounded the truck, and a Moffat County deputy was ordering Spann to back away from the driver’s side door.

In his report, Carson said that he noticed a distinct smell of alcohol coming from Spann and that Spann’s eyes were watery. Carson also saw an open beer bottle in the front seat cup-holder within Spann’s reach.

Spann was transported to Yampa Valley Medical Center, where he refused to take a blood test. Under the Colorado Express Consent law, anyone with a Colorado driver’s license has agreed to take a chemical test if suspected of drunken driving. Refusing to do so means the loss of a driver’s license for one year.

From the hospital, Spann was taken to the Routt County Jail, where he was released Wednesday afternoon on $2,000 bail. His next court appearance is set for 8:30 a.m. Dec. 21.

— To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com


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