Kalispell car chase ends with 2 arrests

Posted at 9:14 AM, Apr 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-17 11:14:14-04

A man and woman are in custody after a high-speed chase and search in Kalispell.

Kalispell Police Sergeant Salois says the chase began on Birch Grove Road north of Kalispell just before 4 p.m. on Sunday.

The chase lasted for about 20 minutes before the male driver ran away from the stolen vehicle and police chased after him.

The woman passenger was arrested at the vehicle.

Authorities say the driver ran for about a mile until officers were able to arrest him near Spruce Park campgrounds.

The names of the suspects have not been released, nor the reason for the chase.

UPDATE: Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry says deputies "initiated a pursuit with a vehicle that had been reported as stolen" after the pickup truck was spotted by the owner in the Columbia Falls area. The owner followed the stolen vehicle to Birch Grove Road where she met a deputy, according to Curry.

The pursuit began on Birch Grove Road near the intersection of Whitefish Stage Road when the deputy attempted to stop the stolen vehicle. The driver led authorities south on Whitefish Stage Road through the intersection of West Reserve Drive with speeds exceeding 80 mph.

Curry says officers used a spike strip at the intersection of White Bark Lane and Whitefish Stage that deflated one tire. The pursuit continued from Whitefish Stage Road onto Evergreen Drive, Helena Flats Road and then onto Montana Highway 35 where the stolen vehicle entered the Spruce Park Campground.

Curry says an officer used a PIT maneuver in the Spruce Park Campground and the pursuit ended when the stolen vehicle stopped with the front wheels over the bank of the Flathead River.

The driver of the pickup, identified as Dominic Lee, 44, of Kalispell then jumped into the Flathead River to avoid officers. Lee began swimming downstream and then got to the bank of the river near the Old Steel Bridge.

Curry says that Lee became hypothermic and was unable to move once he got to the river bank. He was pulled up onto the bank and then taken by boat to a waiting ambulance. He’s currently at Kalispell Regional Medical Center with charges pending.

A passenger in the stolen pickup has been identified as Amanda Brandt, 34, of Kalispell. Brandt was arrested at the scene and is currently in the Flathead County Detention Center on pending felony charges, according to Curry.