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Helena man in custody after leading authorities on high-speed chase in Wyoming

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Posted at 2:45 PM, Mar 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-20 16:45:42-04

WAMSUTTER, Wyo. — Michael R. Harriell of Helena, Montana, was taken into custody Monday after he drove past an Interstate 80 road closure gate and lead Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers on a chase that reached speeds of 100 miles per hour and ended near Wamsutter, according to a Friday media release from Wyoming Highway Patrol.

Harriell, 37 years old, has been charged with fleeing to elude, property damage, reckless driving, reckless endangering, driving on a closed road, and speeding, according to the release.

Troopers first noticed Harriell after he drove his Ford truck around a road closure gate on Monday around 2:40 p.m. The trooper attempted to stop the truck, but the driver did not pull over.

While eastbound on I-80, Harriell crossed into oncoming lanes of interstate traffic, before exiting the roadway. Harriell continued evading troopers, driving on oilfield roads, two track roads and through the desert north of Wamsutter.

Eventually, Harriell's vehicle became stuck in a snowbank and he was taken into custody.

Deputies with the Sweetwater County Sheriff's Department assisted in the pursuit, according to the release.

On Monday, many of Wyoming's major roadways were closed due to Winter Storm Xylia that dumped one to two feet of snow across parts of the state.