Man crashes stolen SUV into concrete tunnel during pursuit, police say

Man crashes stolen SUV into concrete tunnel during pursuit, police say

(Cedar City Police Department)


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CEDAR CITY — A man is in the hospital in serious condition after he allegedly stole an SUV and crashed it into a concrete flood control tunnel during a police pursuit Friday.

Alex Patton, 27, found the SUV running and unlocked at a convenience store in Cedar City at about 6:30 a.m., according to the Cedar City Police Department. Investigators said the owner of the vehicle quickly called police after watching Patton hop in the driver's seat and take off.

Police located the SUV traveling north of I-15 a short time later.

"During the brief pursuit, Patton crossed the median into oncoming freeway traffic," a statement from the Cedar City Police Department reads. "This caused a significant risk to other vehicles on the roadway. Several vehicles had to pull to the side of the roadway to avoid a collision. Patton also drove through the median narrowly missing an Iron County sheriff's deputy who was preparing to assist in the pursuit."

Photo: Cedar City Police Department
Photo: Cedar City Police Department

Patton ultimately turned off the freeway and drove through a barbed wire fence before crashing into the concrete floor control tunnel, where the vehicle came to a stop, according to police. The tunnel runs underneath I-15 and a frontage road.

Investigators said they believe Patton had a "significant" drug impairment at the time of the accident. He was transported to the Cedar City Hospital for treatment of injuries sustained during the crash and the impairment.

Patton will be arrested on suspicion of theft of an automobile, reckless endangerment and evading the police after he is released from the hospital, according to the Cedar City Police Department.

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