High-speed chase passes through Miles City, ends in crash in N. Dakota

Yellowstone Newspapers

GLENDIVE — A man led multiple law enforcement agencies across county and state lines during a high speed pursuit westbound on Interstate 94 Monday evening. The chase stretched nearly 185 miles and ended in a wreck in North Dakota that put the suspect, Joshua Trichtler, 29, of Fargo, N.D., in a Bismarck hospital.

The chase began late Monday afternoon just east of Forsyth in Rosebud County. 

Rosebud County Undersheriff Bruce Price said a sheriff’s deputy attempted a traffic stop for speeding and vehicle registration violations. The vehicle initially slowed like it was going to stop, then accelerated down the highway.

Price said the deputy gave chase, and was soon joined by the Montana Highway Patrol and other local sheriff’s offices as the driver crossed county lines at sppeds of 110-120 mph.

At Miles City the chase ended abruptly for the Rosebud County deputy when Trichtler managed to evade spike strips which had been placed on the highway to stop him, but the deputy did not.

“Our deputy was incapacitated in Miles City by hitting spike strips,” Price said.

Once Trichtler entered Dawson County, deputies from the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office joined in the chase, staying with the suspect to North Dakota, according to MHP Sgt. Troy Muri.

Once in North Dakota, the North Dakota Highway Patrol and their local sheriff’s offices took over the pursuit. NDHP Lt. Steve Fischer noted that Trichtler continued to elude efforts to stop him with spike strips employed by both the Golden Valley County and Billings County sheriff’s departments. The chase finally ended about 10 miles into North Dakota near Sentinel Butte when Trichtler lost control of his vehicle when he hit a wet spot on the highway, Fischer said.

“In investigating the crash, it appears the driver lost control of the vehicle, crossed the median, and rolled over into the north ditch,” Fischer said.

Trichtler survived the wreck and was taken to a hospital in Bismarck. As of Tuesday afternoon Fischer said he did not know what Trichtler’s medical condition. 

The reason Trichtler fled is not clear, Fischer said, adding it probably won’t be known until or unless they’re able to interview the driver. 

What is known for certain is the vehicle was not reported stolen and there were no drugs, weapons or any other suspicious material found in the vehicle, leaving the reason as to why Trichtler fled from police a mystery.

“Unless we’re able to talk to him and figure out what was going on, we don’t have any idea why he was running,” Fischer said. “God only knows why he did it.”