17-year-old jailed after 63-mile pursuit by troopers on Parks Hwy. ends in rollovers

Devin Kelly

A 17-year-old boy is accused of stealing an SUV and leading troopers on a 63-mile pursuit on the Parks Highway early Wednesday, authorities said.

The pursuit began about 2:46 a.m. near the Trunk Road exit of the Parks Highway, when a trooper saw a vehicle speeding and being driven erratically, troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said in an email.

When the trooper tried to pull the SUV over, the driver sped off, Peters said. Troopers then matched the vehicle to a black 1997 Toyota RAV-4 that Palmer police reported stolen a few minutes before the traffic stop.

When troopers pursued, speeds varied but were about 80 mph and greater, Peters said.

The chase ended near Mile 99 of the Parks Highway at about 3:31 a.m. when the SUV hit a patch of ice and slid off the road, rolling onto its top. The teen driver, who was alone in the vehicle, was wearing a seatbelt and was not injured, Peters said.

He was arrested and taken to Palmer Juvenile Detention Center, where he faces charges of vehicle theft, felony eluding, reckless driving and driving without a license, Peters said.

Four trooper vehicles were involved in the pursuit. One of the trooper cruisers also hit the patch of ice and started to slide before the trooper directed the car into the ditch to avoid hitting other vehicles, Peters said. The car rolled onto its roof, but the trooper was uninjured, Peters said.

Reach Devin Kelly at dkelly@adn.com or 257-4314.