2 hit-and-runs, a spike strip and a pit maneuver later, police stop BMW driver

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PAYSON — A driver was transported to Mountain View Hospital Monday afternoon after police say he hit two vehicles and then fled from pursuing law enforcement officers.

James Cottrell was traveling south on I-15 when his gold BMW clipped a vehicle in Draper and continued driving, Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Rich Christianson said. Cottrell hit a second vehicle in the Lindon area, the lieutenant said, and once again failed to stop.

In the south Orem area, Trooper Jeff Dutson began pursuing the BMW, but even with the patrol car’s lights and sirens blaring, Cottrell “failed to yield,” Christianson said.

“Speeds were varying between 40 and 80 miles an hour, just kind of depending on where he was at,” Christianson said.

Dutson called for backup, and a spike strip was set up south of the Benjamin exit, Christianson said. That’s where the BMW’s two driver-side tires were punctured.

“The driver continued southbound on rims,” Christianson said. “Trooper Dudson was able to pit the car south of the Payson Main Street exit, and sent it off the road to the right.”

Cottrell was handcuffed, but troopers soon determined that he might be suffering from a medical problem, the lieutenant said. An ambulance was called, and Cottrell was taken to Mountain View Hospital as a precaution.

The case is also being investigated as a possible DUI situation, Christianson said. Investigators had not had a chance to interview Cottrell Monday evening.

“Any time we can get (a police pursuit) stopped like this, we all breathe a deep sigh of relief because we know they can end a lot worse than this one,” Christianson said. “We’re just glad that the gentleman’s OK.”

Contributing: Dave Cawley


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