Chase ends with fatal crash in Scottsbluff

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SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) - A Mitchell, Nebraska, man died in Scottsbluff after a police pursuit from Mitchell to Scottsbluff. Scotts Bluff County Sheriff, Mark Overman, says witnesses saw 37-year-old Joseph Beeler was driving a pickup in the wrong lane on Highway 26 near Mitchell.

The Officer located the vehicle at a convenience store and attempted to stop it as it was leaving eastbound on Highway 26. The vehicle initially stopped, and Beeler then fled when the Officer exited his car.

Overman says Beeler was driving in the wrong traffic lanes at speeds that topped 95 miles an hour. Deputies even tried to use spike strips to stop him west of Scottsbluff, but Beeler avoided them.

Beeler entered Scottsbluff on Highway 26 and eventually turned right (south) onto Avenue I. The pursuit continued southbound on Avenue I until Beeler crossed the railroad tracks located north of the Avenue I and West 20th Street intersection.

After Beeler crossed railroad tracks in Scottsbluff, he lost control of his pick up and crashed into a tree at a home on Avenue I. Beeler was ejected from the pick up and died at the scene.

Overman says they suspect Beeler was driving drunk. He says this investigation is not over.

At the time of the crash the vehicle was pursued by the Nebraska State Patrol and the Scottsbluff Police Department. Mitchell Police Department terminated its pursuit a few blocks north of the crash site.

Authorities are investigating what they say was a fatal crash that ended a police chase.

The Scottsbluff Star-Herald reports that the chase started in Mitchell and ceased with the crash around 9:50 p.m. Sunday on the west side of Scottsbluff. Several law enforcement agencies responded, including the Nebraska State Patrol. Mitchell sits about 9 miles northwest of Scottsbluff.

Authorities have not released the name of anyone killed or those of other people involved.

Scotts Bluff County Sheriff Mark Overman says details likely won't be available until later Monday.