Troopers seek man involved in Parks Highway high-speed chase

Posted: Tuesday, July 31, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Alaska State Troopers are seeking a driver who led them on a high-speed chase Sunday night along the Parks Highway.

The man stopped after the tires of the stolen truck he was driving were deflated by trooper spike strips more than 50 miles after the pursuit began.

Nenana Trooper Brian Wassmann said the incident began with a complaint that a woman, Louise Vent, had attacked another woman at a bluegrass festival in Anderson, about 75 miles south of Fairbanks, at about 10 p.m.

While Wassmann was en route to Anderson, he received a report that Vent had left the festival in a maroon 1996 GMC truck.

Wassmann spotted the truck near Mile 283 Parks Highway. He turned around, flipped on his lights and siren, and pursued the truck, but stopped the active pursuit five miles later after he said it became unsafe.

Following from a distance, Wassmann clocked truck passing other motorists on double-yellow lines and curves driving at speeds of up to 100 mph.

''It was kind of scary. It was raining pretty heavily,'' he said. ''My car hydroplaned a couple of times.''

Other troopers set up spike strips between Nenana and Fairbanks. The truck hit the strips and traveled a half mile more before coming to a stop about 20 miles south of Fairbanks. The driver, Dennis P. Huntington, 18, of Anchorage, fled into the surrounding woods.

Vent and a 21-year-old woman were passengers. Vent was charged with fourth-degree assault and first-degree vehicle theft.

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