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Monday incident included hit and run, car theft, 100-mph pursuit, rollover, arrests

Oct 4, 2017 By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

The Wyoming Highway Patrol has provided additional information about a high-speed eluding attempt that resulted in two arrests Monday.

The incident began early in the morning, when the WHP responded to a hit-and-run crash on U.S. Highway 20/26. Officials said the victim of the crash was heading toward Shoshoni when a passenger vehicle "rammed" her vehicle from behind.

"The victim of the crash was not injured, but her vehicle sustained major damage," WHP Lt. Lee Pence said in a press release Wednesday.

When the victim drove to a safe place to call law enforcement, Pence said, the suspect driver got out of his car and left it near milepost 95, somehow "catching a ride" in another vehicle.


The Riverton Police Department got involved at about 9:50 a.m., around the time that an "alert citizen" notified officials that the associated hit-and-run vehicle - a silver Honda - was traveling east from Shoshoni.

A local officer in a patrol car was stationed north of town to intercept the vehicle, but when the officer attempted to stop the car the driver failed to yield, instead turning the vehicle around and heading in the other direction.

Officials said the driver was swerving into oncoming traffic, so police terminated the pursuit and contacted the Fremont County Sheriff's Office and WHP.

Before units from those agencies could catch up to the car, however, the driver turned onto North Mountain View Drive and pulled into a driveway where some residents were unloading groceries.

WHP officials said the suspect "ditched" his vehicle and stole the running Toyota Sequoia.

"He pulled in there, took their car and took off," RPD Lt. Wes Romero said Tuesday.

High speeds

At about 10:35 a.m., a WHP trooper saw the Sequoia in Shoshoni and tried to stop it, but the driver accelerated to speeds above 100 mph and headed east on U.S. Highway 20/26, according to reports.

He eventually was stopped by a westbound trooper out of Casper, who successfully deflated the suspect vehicle's tires in Natrona County, officials said.

Pence said the suspect driver was involved in a single-vehicle rollover as a result of the stop.

"(He) lost control of his vehicle, leaving the highway to the south," Pence said in the press release. "It tripped and rolled through the right-of-way fence, coming to rest on its wheels facing west."

The suspect suffered minor cuts, Pence said, but was not seriously injured because he was wearing a seatbelt and his airbag deployed.

He was taken into custody without further incident and brought to a Casper hospital for treatment. When he was released, he was booked into the Natrona County Jail, where he is currently being held on a parole revocation charge.

"Further charges are being sought by our agency as well as three others in both Natrona and Fremont counties," Pence said.

He wouldn't release the man's name but described him as a 40-year-old Casper resident, according to his driver's license.

"We are still obtaining search warrants for evidence as this case may lead to other arrests," Pence added.

Riverton woman

A woman who had been a passenger in the silver Honda, Patsy Burbeck, 30, of Riverton, was arrested at about 10:25 a.m. Monday on North Mountain View Drive for interference.

Romero said she had gotten out of the Honda and attempted to flee the scene when her driver abandoned the vehicle.

Then, he said, she made several allegations to police that turned out to be false. For example, she said a child was in the vehicle with the man, and she lied about the man's name.

"They were pretty spun up on meth," Romero noted.

The silver Honda was impounded.

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