|By Rachel Cook
Idaho Falls Post Register
An Idaho Falls man allegedly led officers from four law enforcement agencies on a high-speed car chase Sunday morning.
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the Idaho Falls Police Department on Sunday, warning that Bruce Diehl, 42, was suicidal and heading to a spot where his friend collected firewood in the cottonwoods area of Clark County, according to a news release from Clark County Sheriff Bart May.
The IFPD also said Diehl had at least two shotguns and a handgun and had said he would shoot anyone who tried to stop him, the release said.
Diehl’s white Ford SUV was found abandoned at 2:27 a.m. along Old Highway 91 North, south of Dry Creek Road, the release said. Using thermal imaging, deputies spotted Diehl about 75 yards away lying in the snow, the release said.
Deputies watched Diehl shoot at his SUV “numerous times” through the night, according to the release.
“We felt that Mr. Diehl was no harm to anyone but himself due to his location, and we decided to let Mr. Diehl sit in the single-digit weather until he hopefully decided to give up,” the release said.
At 7:30 a.m., Diehl got into his vehicle. Deputies thought the vehicle would not drive given the shots Diehl had fired into the engine compartment, the release said, and decided to wait until daylight to contact him.
Moments later, Diehl started the car, which billowed black smoke, and drove south on Old Highway 91 toward Dubois, the release said. Deputies turned on their emergency lights and tried to stop the vehicle, but Diehl eluded officers.
A high-speed chase ensued, with speeds reaching 120 mph. Backup officers from the Idaho State Police and the Bonneville County and Jefferson County sheriff’s offices were called.
The chase moved onto Interstate 15 southbound and into Jefferson County. I-15 southbound traffic was closed at the Roberts exit and Bonneville County deputies laid spike strips near mile marker 135, according to the release.
Diehl crossed the spikes going 90 mph. Bonneville County Sgt. Jeff Edwards said three of Diehl’s tires deflated, eventually stopping the vehicle. Diehl was arrested at mile maker 133 without further incident, the release said.
He was taken to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for a health check and mental health evaluation, the release said. He is being held at the Madison County Jail.
The release said Diehl is charged with felony eluding a police officer, use of a deadly weapon, possession of drug paraphernalia and malicious injury to property.
May said officers did a good job ending the incident without harming anyone.
“I feel that today is a good day,” May said in the release. “Times like this are pretty nerve-racking, and adrenaline is running high.”
Courtesy: Post Register