A high-speed chase involving the Wisconsin Highway Patrol spanned dozens of miles before ending in an arrest Thursday night.
The chase reached speeds of 130 miles per hour, but that's not why Highway Patrol is calling this a bizarre pursuit. Lt. Nathan Clarke said the driver, a 52-year-old woman from Pennsylvania, initiated contact with a trooper who was finishing a traffic stop along I-94 West in Waukesha County.
"He sees a vehicle coming in very erratically; pulling in behind him, almost struck the rear of his cruiser," said Clarke.
Dash cam video shows the trooper approach the vehicle to find a woman who claimed to be on drugs and needed help. The trooper took the woman's keys, and left her in the vehicle while calling for back up and an ambulance.
"We didn't realize she had a spare set of keys," said Clarke.
Clarke said the woman pulled off with her hazard lights still flashing. She weaved through traffic at high speeds.
"We knew we had to take action and remove her from the highway because of the dangers she not only posed to herself, but also other people on the highway," Clarke said.
The pursuit started in east Waukesha County and came to a halt 24 miles west in Jefferson County.
"At the end of the pursuit she ran into the woods," added Clarke.
The trooper found the woman and she was taken to the hospital. However, her original story didn’t match test results.
"Preliminary (toxicology) screens and drug evaluations showed no drugs in her system whatsoever," said Clarke.
Now, state patrol is investigating this as a mental health issue.
"The thing we want to stress is this wasn't a criminal pursuit," said Clarke. "Law enforcement isn't here to just remove criminals and ‘bad guys’ from society, we're here to help as well and I think that's clearly demonstrated."
Thankfully no one was injured in the pursuit. It has not been determined if the driver will face charges.
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