Tracey Johnston of Great Falls has been identified as the man who died after leading officers on a high-speed chase early Wednesday. Johnston was 46 years old.
The Cascade County Sheriff’s Office said that at about 1 a.m. on Wednesday, deputies responded to a suspicious call at the Vaughn School; the nature of the call has not been disclosed.
The responding deputy located a vehicle and attempted to make a traffic stop.
Johnston then intentionally backed into the deputy’s vehicle began driving west on Highway 200 while reportedly throwing objects at the deputy’s vehicle, with speeds reaching 100 miles per hour, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
At one point Johnston stopped and again tried to ram the deputy’s vehicle. The deputy took evasive action, leaving the road to avoid being hurt.
The chase continued into Lewis & Clark County and near mile marker 106 – about three miles southwest of the intersection with Highway 287 – Johnston lost control of the vehicle. The deputy did not see the crash but located Johnston and the vehicle at that location.
Johnston had been ejected from the vehicle due to the force of the crash and died at the scene.
The Montana Highway Patrol is continuing to investigate the incident.
According to the Montana Department of Corrections, Johnston had convictions in Hill County for DUI (4th or subsequent) and in Flathead County for criminal possession of dangerous drugs.
We will update you if we get more information.