An eastern Iowa man’s in jail after he ran an improvised obstacle course last night trying to escape law officers. State Patrol Post Twelve District Commander Lieutenant Frank Fisher says it began with a trooper manning a speed trap. He was sitting in the median and clocked a vehicle at 104 miles an hour, traveling westbound on I-80 near the Tipton exit, so the officer “went out after.” The trooper says the driver slowed briefly but then sped away, at speeds up to 120 miles an hour. That pursued vehicle, a 1995 Nissan, reached the west side of the Cedar River bridge when the driver lost control and went into the ditch. The driver emerged unhurt and took off on foot, and the trooper called for help — which came in the form of sheriff’s deputies, local police, troopers, and a K-9 officer. They also called the Muscatine Police Department to send a specially-equipped chopper that seeks out heat and can pick out car engines, deer, anything that gives off heat even in the dark, and it immediately picked up the suspect down by the river. Though he then climbed into the water, the suspect was surrounded, and with the chopper hovering overhead, he gave up, cold and wet but unharmed from the chase or the crash. He doesn’t seem injured at all, though the Lieutenant says “it’s just amazing” that he didn’t roll at that speed, and didn’t hurt anyone else along the way. The suspect, identified as 41-year-old Jeffery Flowers of Cedar Rapids, is charged with second-offense DWI, felony eluding and interference with official acts.
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