DUI suspect arrested after hitting police car and leading officers on a chase

Posted at 11:28 AM, May 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-23 13:28:03-04

A Ronan police officer was injured and his cruiser was damaged in a Monday evening incident involving a drunk driver.

Officer Joel Diaz was on patrol and driving on Round Butte Road when he saw the driver of a GMC truck run a stop sign.

Police say Diaz tried to stop, but the truck struck the "push bumper" of the patrol car, causing moderate damage.

The driver of the truck did not stop and drove away from the scene, leading to a high-speed chase down Main Street where the female driver went through three more stop signs.

The driver then headed west at a high rate of speed on Round Butte Road with Diaz following.

The chase continued for about 12 miles with the Montana Highway Patrol, Tribal Law & Order, and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office joining in the chase.

The truck turned onto a gravel road, drove to the end, and then made a U-turn, driving toward the patrol car driven by Diaz, according to Ronan police. The truck then hit the cruiser and the chase ended.

The female driver – whose name has not yet been released – was taken into custody and was found to be driving under the influence of alcohol.

A male passenger with outstanding warrants was also taken into custody. Two female passengers were released at the scene.

Authorities add that all of the passengers were intoxicated.

Diaz was taken to a hospital by ambulance and later released; the nature of his injuries has not been disclosed.

The dollar amount of damage to the patrol car has not yet been determined.

The Montana Highway Patrol is investigating the DUI as well as the two crashes.

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