Suspect evading troopers injures K-9 in Glenn Hwy crash
A Palmer man is behind bars after allegedly evading troopers on the Glenn Highway, attempting to run over a trooper, and causing a crash that involved three other vehicles, including two trooper patrol units Friday afternoon.
Alaska State Troopers spokesperson Tim Despain says troopers observed a vehicle traveling recklessly at a high rate of speed on the Old Glenn Highway at mile 5 in Palmer around 3 p.m. Troopers say they initiated a traffic stop on the silver 2008 Hyundai Tiburon, but the vehicle accelerated while driving in both lanes of travel.
Troopers discontinued their pursuit of the vehicle near the Glenn Highway and the Old Glenn Highway. About 15 minutes later, troopers located the vehicle northbound on the Glenn Highway near milepost 31. Again, troopers attempted to stop the vehicle, and again, troopers say, the driver failed to stop and was driving at speeds over 100 mph.
The vehicle lost control about 3.5 miles later, exiting the roadway and striking a light pole. But, AST says, the driver continued northbound on the Glenn. About a half-mile down the road, the driver of the car, identified as 33-year-old Russell Blakeman, of Palmer, attempted to run over a trooper who was deploying spike strips, according to AST.
The trooper was able to avoid being struck, authorities say, but the suspect vehicle crashed into an AST K-9 unit, pushing the patrol car into the southbound lane of the Glenn, where it was struck by a passing van. The K-9 inside of the unit, Skippy, sustained minor injuries in the collision.
Despain says neither the driver nor troopers sustained any "serious injuries". Two AST patrol cars sustained damage during the incident.
Blakeman was arrested by AST and charged with first-degree attempted murder, five counts of third-degree assault, harming a police dog and failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer.
The crash scene was cleared by 6 Friday evening.
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