A former NASCAR driver and a passenger in his car were arrested in Utah last week after an alleged car chase that spanned involving three states. Police claim that Tyler Walker failed to stop for law enforcement in Nevada around 7:30 a.m. January 30.
Police claim that the former NASCAR driver led a chase from Nevada, through Arizona and into Utah. Police in Nevada claim that the chase began after authorities attempted to make a routine traffic stop for an alleged speeding offense. Authorities say that the multi-state chase reached speeds of up to 140 miles per hour.
Law enforcement in Utah claims that authorities put down spike strips on Interstate 15 as a caravan approached Utah. The caravan allegedly included the former race car driver in a BMW, followed by two Arizona Highway vehicles and two Nevada Highway Patrol troopers.
The BMW hit the spike strips roughly two miles into Utah on the Interstate, but the chase continued for another mile-and-a-half, according to Utah authorities. Eventually, the BMW stopped. However, police claim that the driver jumped from the car and attempted to flee on foot.
Police claim that the driver was identified as a former NASCAR driver, who was suspended from racing in 2007 over alleged substance issues.
Law enforcement searched the BMW after arresting the alleged driver. Authorities claim to have seized methamphetamine, pot and drug paraphernalia during the search of the BMW. Officials claim that an open bottle of vodka was also found in the passenger compartment.
The former NASCAR driver was charged in St. George County, Utah with felony fleeing and two counts of felony drug crimes. He also faces misdemeanor charges for drugs, drug paraphernalia, DUI and open bottle allegations. He posted slightly more than $18,000 bail and was released from the Washington County Jail pending an appearance in St. George.
A female passenger in the BMW reportedly was arrested on suspicion of drug charges.
The accusations include several felony level offenses. Authorities say that the amount of pot seized is less than an ounce. Similarly, law enforcement seized drug paraphernalia, which authorities say contained residue that tested positive for methamphetamine, according to the St. George Spectrum.
Generally, Utah law treats drug possession allegations harshly. Notably, trace amounts of an alleged drug may lead to serious felony charges that can carry lengthy prison sentences.
It is important for anyone in Utah to seek the assistance of a Salt Lake criminal defense lawyer who can assess the procedures used throughout an investigation and the allegations that prosecutors seek to bring to court in creating a defense strategy.
- Salt Lake Tribune, “Former NASCAR driver arrested in Utah after high-speed chase,” Martin Renzhofer and Jessica Miller, Feb. 4, 2013
- The St. George Spectrum, “Ex-NASCAR driver appears in court after high-speed chase,” Casie Forbes, Feb. 5, 2013