Cop cruiser damaged in major chase
A McLennan police cruiser sustained over $4,000 damage in a high-speed police chase June 28 that ended southwest of Girouxville with three police cruisers damaged, an officer slightly injured, and two men arrested.
Mounties were able to stop the suspect pick-up truck on Highway 744 south of Girouxville, forcing the vehicle of the road, ending a chase that began south of Peace River.
RCMP from McLennan, Peace River, Grimshaw, and Fairview, and Grande Prairie were involved in the early-morning chase that reached speeds up to 150 kilometers per hour.
McLennan RCMP joined the pursuit around 4:30 a.m., when the chase entered the local police jurisdiction, said McLennan RCMP Sergeant Lewis Kuntz. With the suspects traveling south on Highway 744 towards Girouxville, Constable Cedric Petitclerc waited at the junction of Highway 49, he said.
Attempts to stop the vehicle with a spike belt were unsuccessful.
“Feeling the urgency to bring the chase to a conclusion, when the suspect vehicle appeared to turn into another field, and speeds slowed considerably, our member forced the truck into the ditch,” said Kuntz.
About $4,500 damage was sustained to the local cruiser, he noted, while Constable Petitclerc was not injured.
Without any struggle, the suspects were apprehended near the Smoky River around 5:30 a.m.
Driving a stolen pick-up truck with a trailer carrying three quads, the suspects were first observed on Highway 2 by a provincial vehicle inspector who noticed the trailer had no taillights.
Refusing to stop on Hwy. 2 on the hill south of Peace River, the pursuit ensued, taking police to Marie Reine, Girouxville, and to Little Smoky River, through fields, and gravel roads.
Pursuing south on Hwy. 744, the chase traveled south of Little Smoky Bridge before turning north on Hwy. 744, and ending near Smoky River.
Kelly Strandlund, 20, of Whitelaw, was charged with break-and-enter, possession of stolen property over $5,000, possession of housebreaking tools, criminal flight from police, dangerous driving, and driving while disqualified, according to police reports.
Stuart Rovers, 25, of Fairview, was charged with break-and-enter, possession of stolen property over $5,000, and possession of housebreaking tools.