Driver eludes police after Tuesday morning pursuit |

Driver eludes police after Tuesday morning pursuit

Matt Stensland

— Because of safety concerns, local authorities chose not to continue the pursuit of a driver Tuesday morning who was eluding police.

The pursuit began when a Routt County Sheriff’s Office deputy investigated what he thought was an abandoned vehicle facing east along U.S. Highway 40 just west of Mount Harris.

Undersheriff Ray Birch said the deputy realized the car’s engine was on and someone was inside. The driver opened the door of the black Nissan sports car, looked back and then drove off, Birch said. The deputy then began to pursue the driver but not initially at high speeds. The license plate on the car came back as stolen, but it was not known whether the car also was reported stolen.

The car then headed west through Steamboat, at times going at high speeds. The Steamboat Springs Police Department helped with the pursuit but dropped off when the car left city limits headed toward Rabbit Ears Pass. The Sheriff’s Office decided to drop out of the pursuit, and they advised neighboring counties about the incident, Birch said.

“We have to be real careful in initiating these types of pursuits,” he said. “We typically don’t pursue unless there is a very serious crime associated with it.”

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland