High-speed chases are thrilling in movies and video games. But in real life, they often have tragic results. That was the situation in a law enforcement case in the summer of 2017 in Moody County.
It’s the subject of our KELOLAND News Investigation, The Price of Pursuit. Here’s a look at where that pursuit took place:
The pickup took off after being told to stop. The Highway Patrol began chasing it, over several country roads, but lost sight of the vehicle on 484th Avenue.
Flandreau Tribal Police Chief Rob Neuenfeldt got in his patrol car and Logan Baldini, a Moody County deputy in training, jumped in the passenger seat. The two picked up the pursuit.
Neuenfeldt and Baldini continued to chase the pickup over a dozen more roads, coming to a stop at the intersection of Highway 13 and a gravel road 229A.
As they pulled up to the pickup, Baldini got out and ordered the driver to get out of his truck.
Instead, he put the pickup in reverse and headed down 229A.
The pickup crashed on a dead-end dirt road. The two passengers and driver where thrown from the vehicle and suffered broken necks.
“Traumatic brain injury. He had a severely bruised left thalamus, which controls the right movement–plus brain bleeds,” mother Verna Bourassa said.
For the first time, the driver and his mother are speaking publicly and raising questions about the necessity of this chase.
On KELOLAND News at 10, we look into the law enforcement report on the incident and see who was involved, what decisions were made and whether the officers followed policies in place.