HAVRE, Mont. (NMB) – A high-speed vehicle chase on Thursday afternoon ended with Valier’s 51-year-old Franklin James Buck III capitulating shortly after 2:30 p.m. in a field of alfalfa south of Chester.
Havre Police Chief Aaron Wittmer said the chase started just before 1:15 p.m. on 5th Street in Havre when Buck refused to stop the GMC envoy he was driving after being told to do so by police .
The vehicle spent about 10 minutes in Havre at speeds of up to 80 mph before traveling west on US 2 towards Chester and traveling up to 160 mph.
The envoy turned south on Highway 223 at Chester before driving abruptly into a field of alfalfa near the Tiber Dam. Buck then left the vehicle and surrendered to the authorities.
Wittmer says it is likely that the vehicle has either run out of gas or has experienced a mechanical failure.
Unsuccessful attempts have been made in Havre, Hingham and Chester to stop the vehicle with spike strips.
The only reported injury is from Buck, who complained of shoulder pain after his arrest. He was examined and released from Northern Montana Hospital before being transferred to Hill County Detention Center.
Wittmer says his patrol car suffered minor damage after being hit by the envoy in the Hospital Hill area in Havre and the GMC envoy’s doors kicked in.
Buck faces numerous pending charges, including criminal exposure to felony and drinking and driving. Wittmer says Buck is well known to law enforcement.
Wittmer adds that there were several people who tried to follow the persecution to be videotaped. He says this jeopardized law enforcement and was extremely unsafe, adding that those responsible for the actions have been identified and could also be charged.
Authorities who responded included the Havre Police Department, Hill and Liberty County’s Sheriffs, and the Montana Highway Patrol.
This post has been updated