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ST. GEORGE — A 37-year-old man is in custody after a standoff shut down northbound and southbound lanes of I-15 for more than nine hours near Hurricane Monday.
Jason Alley was booked into the Washington County Jail late Monday. Officials said they didn't know where Alley was from.
Alley was pulled over near LaVerkin for a failure to yield traffic violation about 11 a.m. He then sped off for an unknown reason and the chase ended up on I-15 northbound near mile marker 16. Alley drove his maroon Scion across the median and into the southbound lanes and was driving at speeds up to 90 mph before road spikes were deployed, disabling the vehicle around noon, the Utah Highway Patrol reported.
Authorities said Alley had his two sons with him — a 7-year-old and the other was a teenager. Both children are in the custody of the state Department of Child and Family Services.
For more the nine hours, law enforcement officials from the UHP, Washington County Sheriff's Office, Hurricane police and Washington City police departments surrounded the Alley's disabled vehicle and negotiated with him. A SWAT team was called in as well.
The freeway was shut down in both directions with traffic detoured around an 11-mile stretch, while officials negotiated with the Alley, who was armed.
"The children were never in any danger from what we saw," said Washington County Sheriff Cory Pulsipher.
Pulsipher said Alley seemed to be concerned for his boys' welfare and he was trying to protect them, based on conversations police with family members and what he told negotiators.
About 9 p.m., Alley complied with law enforcers and put his weapon on the roof of his car and turned himself in.
All lanes of the freeway were reopened by 9:30 p.m.
During the standoff, Coral Canyon Elementary School in Washington City was also placed on lockdown. The children were eventually bused home from the school, which is visible from the freeway.