Missoula County Coverage

Nov 8, 2013 5:24 PM by Mike Powers - KPAX News

Man charged after Missoula high speed pursuit

MISSOULA - Authorities say that a man suspected of stealing a car in Wyoming is lucky to be alive after a high-speed chase that reached speeds of up to 120 mph ended in a rollover on Interstate 90 in Missoula.

Leon Andrew Harlson, 23 - who has ties to Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota - now faces several charges - including felony theft and illuding an officer.

The 2004 Honda Civic involved was reported stolen from Gillette, Wyoming and was spotted by Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Paul Pfau near Clinton around 8:00 a.m. on Friday.

Court records state that when Trooper Pfau and another officer tried to pull Harlson over, he took off at a high rate of speed and began weaving in and out of traffic.

The pursuit ended when Missoula Police officers placed spike strips across the I-90 - and Harlson tried to avoid them. The strips blew out two tires on the left side of the car, which then crossed the other lane of traffic and rolled over.

Harlson was not seriously injured in the wreck and was later arrested and then booked into the Missoula County Detention Center. Harlson agreed to a blood test, and those results are pending.

The Missoula Police Department is heading up the investigation into the incident.

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