2 arrested when DUI stop turns into high-speed pursuit in Springdale

Stock image, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Two men were arrested Saturday night after leading officers on a high-speed chase on state Route 9 in Springdale, an incident set in motion when the driver was allegedly spotted staggering out of a restaurant minutes before.

Aaron Worthen, of Hurricane was arrested after a high-speed pursuit in Springdale Saturday, Washington County, Utah, Oct. 13, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Aaron Worthen, of Hurricane, was booked into jail on multiple offenses, including a third-degree felony charge of evading, fleeing police, along with two class B misdemeanor offenses for driving under the influence and one count of resisting arrest.

Worthen also faces four class C misdemeanor offenses, which include one count each for driving without insurance; failing to remain at the scene of an accident; driving on a suspended license and having an open container of alcohol, as well as two infractions for expired registration and a brake light violation.

The passenger, Brady Worthen, also of Hurricane, was booked into jail on two offenses, including interfering with an arrest, a class B misdemeanor, as well as intoxication, a class C misdemeanor.

The incident began shortly after 5 p.m. when the driver, later identified as Aaron Worthen, was seen by a witness in the parking lot of a restaurant just off of SR-9, and “was staggering to his vehicle,” according to what the witness said in a 911 call reporting a possible drunk driver, Springdale-Zion Canyon Department of Public Safety’s public information officer Britt Ballard said.

The driver left the first parking lot and drove across the highway to a second parking lot where he allegedly struck either a vehicle or some type of stationary object before exiting the lot and heading west on SR-9.

“The initial report said he struck a vehicle, but at this point in the investigation we haven’t found any reports of a damaged car in that area, so officers are still piecing together what happened there,” Ballard said.

Brady Worthen, of Hurricane was arrested in Springdale Saturday, Washington County, Utah, Oct. 13, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

After the call to dispatch, an “attempt to locate” alert was broadcast out to officers in the area to be on the lookout for a red BMW with two males inside. Shortly thereafter, the car was spotted by an officer who pulled up behind the car in order to initiate a traffic stop.

Instead of pulling over, however, the BMW driver continued west on SR-9 with the officer directly behind. Soon, multiple patrol vehicles were pursuing the vehicle at speeds as high as 110 miles per hour, Ballard said.

Meanwhile, the BMW’s engine started making a loud noise as it continued at a high speed. A minute or so later, the car stopped abruptly, leading officers to believe its engine may have given out.

Officers conducted a felony stop at that point, Ballard said, adding that police ordered both men out of the car at gunpoint and reportedly found them to be “very intoxicated and disorderly with the officers, even at gunpoint.”

Both men were arrested and transported to Washington County’s Purgatory Correctional Facility, where correctional officers at the jail had to assist officers in getting the pair into the facility.

“They continued being disorderly and were uncooperative during the transport,” Ballard said.

The men were booked into jail without further incident. Officers from Hurricane and LaVerkin were in the area at the time and responded to assist the Springdale officers.

“Luckily, no other vehicles were involved, considering the driver’s level of intoxication and the speeds involved, ” Ballard said.

This report is based on statements from police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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