Hot pursuit takes on new meaning as bobtail catches fire during chase

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Updated Dec 1, 2018

No dull moments lately for the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Troopers made a 37-pound pot bust on Monday, arrested an errant trucker on Tuesday after the rig he was driving burst into flames during a 100-mile pursuit, and they’ve been busy helping motorists for the past several days on snow-covered roads.

However, the story that tops them all on their Facebook page is unquestionably the flaming trucker. Try as he might, the alleged meth head couldn’t shake off troopers during the memorable chase. With 414 shares and 69 comments the story’s been making its rounds in the media. The press release is posted below. While it may not read like a Joseph Wambaugh novel, it still offers a good look at the day in the life of a trooper. (Note the part where the suspect attempts to flee on foot only to run into a barbed wire fence. Can’t make this stuff up.)

At 8:48 p.m. on November 24, 2018, Troop A Communications overheard Kansas City Police Department radio traffic regarding the pursuit of a tractor-truck westbound on 31stStreet from Arlington Avenue reference an aggravated assault involving a revolver. At 8:55 p.m., the suspect vehicle began traveling eastbound on Interstate 70 from Manchester Trafficway. Jackson County Sheriff’s Office became involved then requested the Highway Patrol take the lead after the vehicle entered Lafayette County. 

At 9:20 p.m., two troopers entered the pursuit. The suspect vehicle continued eastbound on I-70 at speeds up to 73 mph and struck spikes in multiple locations deployed by multiple agencies. Troop F Communications began coordinating radio traffic after the vehicle entered Cooper County. A patrol helicopter joined the pursuit and began following the suspect vehicle, allowing ground vehicles to back off. The suspect vehicle eventually became disabled and stopped just east of the 106.6-mile marker near Boonville, MO, where it caught fire and the driver fled on foot. Patrol aircraft then directed officers to the driver after he ran into a barbed wire fence and laid down north of I-70. At 10:36 p.m., troopers advised Troop F Communications the subject was in custody. The driver was relayed back to Jackson County and released into the custody of the Kansas City Police Department in connection to the aggravated assault investigation. 

Additionally, a baggie of methamphetamine was seized. The tractor-truck is believed to have been reported stolen through Oak Grove Police Department. The investigation continues.