Iowa State Patrol Trooper Jim Bullington says the incident began at around 7:42 a.m. near the Walnut exit as Senior Trooper Craig Zenor was traveling eastbound on I-80 when a car came up behind his patrol vehicle traveling at 15 miles-an-hour over the speed limit.
Zenor pulled the vehicle over, the driver got out and gave a false name to the Zenor. A check of the man’s I.D. in his wallet showed the driver’s name was Jacob Erickson. Shortly thereafter, Erickson got out of the trooper’s car and into his vehicle and took off. The trooper gave chase and speeds reached a little over 100 miles-an-hour before Erickson exited approached the Marne exit.
“Mr. Erickson actually exited at a high rate of speed — too fast to accommodate at the top — and he actually vaulted then across that exit and landed just short of a field in the southeast corner,” Bullington explains. The car was totaled in the crash. Erickson fled the vehicle on foot, ran up a hill and into some heavy brush.
He says Trooper pilot Kenny Jensen, who was flying nearby in preparation for a traffic enforcement mission, was able to see Erickson from the air crawling on his hands and knees, and kept him under observation until authorities could arrive on the scene. Dogs from the Cass and Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Departments arrived on the scene at virtually the same time. Erickson surrendered after being warned the dogs would be turned loose.
Trooper Bullington says they were able to confirm the car was stolen out of Sioux City, along with tools that were found inside the vehicle. Erickson, whose previous addresses were in Des Moines and Sioux City, was transported to Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs for treatment of his injuries. He’ll be charged with felony eluding, and numerous traffic violations once he is released from the hospital.
(Reporting by Ric Hansen, KJAN, Atlantic)