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Arizona high-speed chase ends with head-on collision in St. George

By Faith Heaton Jolley and Jasen Lee | Posted - Feb 10th, 2013 @ 3:56pm


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ST. GEORGE — A high-speed chase that began in Arizona ended in St. George when the man intentionally wrecked his car in a head-on collision, police said.

Authorities said the pursuit started just before 8 a.m. when Arizona troopers attempted to stop a 2007 Honda CRV with Oregon plates for a lane travel violation on northbound I-15 at milepost 5. The vehicle failed to stop and AHP pursued Skeen at speeds up to 120 mph through Arizona. As the chase reached Utah, the Utah Highway Patrol laid spikes across the freeway to stop the pursuit.

The suspect drove northbound on I-15 through the Virgin River Gorge area for approximately 1.5 miles before the spikes punctured one of Skeen's car tires, UHP said. Skeen then swerved through the median guard rail into oncoming traffic and hit a southbound Subaru.

The Subaru was in the left lane and saw the suspect vehicle coming head-on toward them, said Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Jacob Hicks. The Subaru's driver attempted to move to the right and off the shoulder, but the suspect vehicle appeared to swerve into the Subaru, crashing into the driver side rear door and rear quarter panel, he added.

The suspect vehicle rolled several times coming to rest on its wheels approximately 100 feet from the point of impact, down a small embankment.  The driver was ejected from the vehicle landing approximately 30 feet away from where the vehicle came to rest, Hicks said.  Meanwhile, the Subaru came to rest 15 feet off the southbound shoulder.

Hicks said the suspect, Zane Sterling Skeen, 34, was transported by helicopter to University Medical Center in Las Vegas with serious but non-life threatening injuries, while the occupants of the Subaru, Randy and Mary Suker of Sandy, were transported by ambulance to Dixie Regional Medical Center with minor injuries.

Why Skeen fled from police is still unknown at this time, Hicks said. Officials said Skeen had an outstanding felony warrant from his native Oregon and now faces charges in both Arizona and Utah as well.

Hicks said UHP is investigating the crash, while the Arizona Department of Public Safety will conduct the criminal investigation into this latest incident.

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Faith Heaton Jolley
Jasen Lee

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