A suspect and two state troopers were injured in a high-speed chase that lasted almost two hours and traveled through at least three north-central Iowa counties this morning. The chase apparently started on Interstate 35 in the Coulter and Alexander area, with the suspect leaving the interstate and driving at times over 100 miles an hour on gravel and paved roads, traveling at times near the towns of Swaledale, Thornton, and at one point inside the city limits of Clear Lake. Lieutenant Dennis Liekweg of the Iowa State Patrol says the chase ended on I-35 just north of the Cerro Gordo-Worth County line. He says the suspect was passing on the right and one of the troopers pulled up next to him to keep him in the ditch. Liekweg says none of the injuries were serious. Liekweg says this is a situation they hate to see. He says, “This is the last thing an officer wants to do, is put his life at risk by pursuing people. You know, we don’t live to pursue. That’s the last thing we want to do. And you know I think that’s what the public thinks red lights, we like to get in those squad cars, put the sirens on, the red lights on and run around and get into things like this. An this is not true, because this is where we have officers get hurt and suspects can get hurt, the public can get hurt, and obviously the suspects can get hurt as well.” Cerro Gordo County Sheriff Kevin Pals was part of the pursuit. He says his says the suspect was able to avoid “stop-sticks” put on the road to try deflate the suspects tires. He says the stop sticks don’t cover the whole road and he says an S-U-V can go into ditches and avoid the stop sticks. Officers from the Franklin and Worth County Sheriff’s Departments were also involved in the chase. The names of the suspect and two officers injured are not yet available.
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