GRAND COUNTY, Utah – An unconscious individual was flown to a hospital Saturday due to injuries sustained while ramming a police vehicle during an alleged pursuit involving a car reported stolen out of Texas.
A Utah Highway Patrol trooper observed a BMW with no registration on I-70 near mile marker 191 traveling at 93 mph Saturday at about 8:30 a.m.
Raw footage of portions of the chase can be seen in the video above, including the moment when a passenger exited the vehicle as well as the dramatic finish to the pursuit.
According to information from the Utah Highway Patrol, the trooper tried to stop the BMW and when the vehicle did not stop he initiated a pursuit. A short time later the vehicle stopped and a female passenger got out. The trooper confirmed the female was OK, notified authorities of the woman’s location and continued following the BMW. The female was later taken to Moab to be questioned.
The pursuit moved onto SR-128, according to the UHP, and Grand County deputies used spikes to attempt the vehicle but were not successful. The chase moved to Castle Valley Road, and officers lost sight of the vehicle.
A State Parks Officer reported seeing the BMW on Loop Road at the base of the La Sal Mountains a short time later, and the vehicle was moving in the direction of Castle Valley Road, according to officials.
UHP Trooper Kerry Ball and Grand County Deputy Zane Lammert moved in that direction with a plan to deploy spikes, which is when the BMW approached.
According to information from the UHP, “Trooper Ball deployed his firearm and ordered the suspect to exit the vehicle. The suspect accelerated and rammed Deputy Lammert's patrol vehicle while Deputy Lammert was still behind the steering wheel. The suspect was knocked unconscious from the impact.”
Lammert sustained minor injuries and was taken to Moab Regional Hospital. The suspect did not regain consciousness and was taken by AirMed to Utah Regional Medical Center.
Troopers said Sunday the man had begun to regain consciousness and investigators planned to question him. Police are also questioning the female who left the vehicle, who they said is so far not fully cooperating.
According to authorities, the BMW was confirmed to be stolen out of Texas, and there was a stolen Arizona license plate inside the vehicle. During the search officers found several credit cards and other items “that indicated that other crimes were committed.”
The suspect was identified Sunday as Peter Florez, of Texas.
The incident is being investigated by the Grand County Sheriff’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation.
FOX 13 News will have more information as it becomes available.