Gasoline drive-off sparks high speed chase
The car crash that closed US-31 and caused power outages and collapsed power lines was caused by a high speed chase stemming from a gasoline drive-off, police say.
The suspect, Nathan Vaughn Koeneman, 23, was stopped at M-72 and Smith Lake Road in Kalkaska County for a possible gasoline drive-off that happened in Grand Traverse County.
When the deputy attempted to approach the car, Koeneman took off and led deputies on a chase into Grand Traverse County.
Koeneman was speeding over 90 miles per hour and disregarding traffic signals, as well as the lights and sirens of the police, Sheriff David Israel says.
Stop sticks were used at US-31 and 4 Mile Road by the Michigan State Police. The driver continued and eventually left the road and crashed into a power pole at US-31 and 3 Mile Road. Koeneman then left the car and led police on a short foot chase before being caught and placed into custody.
Koeneman has been charged with fleeing and eluding police, third degree, and operating a motor vehicle with presence of controlled substance. His bond was set at $200,000 cash.