A high-speed vehicle chase on the Beeline Highway ended Wednesday morning when that vehicle crashed into a truck at the 87 and 260 intersection.
“I started turning in the intersection and I heard police sirens and then I saw a truck turning south onto 87 and boom, there was an accident,” said Ann Fowler, who just narrowly missed being struck by the yellow four-door Suzuki passenger vehicle.
Fowler didn’t know it, but officers had been chasing the vehicle since milepost 225 south of Payson. Around 10:10 a.m., an Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper had reportedly tried to stop the vehicle for speeding, said Bart Graves, media relations specialist with the DPS.
“The suspect vehicle initially stopped, then took off from the trooper, Graves said.
The vehicle reportedly hit speeds well above 100 mph on the highway.
As they neared town, DPS radioed dispatchers, who alerted local officers. Additional DPS officers just happened to be training at the Jim Jones Shooting Range south of town and also responded.
Payson Police set up a roadblock south of town, however, the suspect’s vehicle went across the median into southbound traffic before continuing northbound on SR 87.
The vehicle continued through town, reportedly blasting through red lights at 70 mph.
At the 87 and 260 intersection, the vehicle crashed into a pickup turning south onto 87, said Payson Police Chief Ron Tischer.
Officers quickly removed the four people from the Suzuki. Two people in the pickup truck were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Tischer said.
Paramedics took the driver and at least one passenger in the yellow vehicle to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
They were later arrested on various charges, including felony flight, aggravated assault, and theft of means of transportation. All four suspects are New Mexico residents.
Tischer said they believe at least one person in the suspect’s vehicle may have been involved in an unrelated vehicle theft in Payson Monday.