The Florida Highway Patrol was in a high-speed chase Sunday morning with a driver of an SUV for at least 30 miles on U.S. 1 in the Florida Keys. It ended with the car crashing into a construction zone — just miles ahead of where runners were competing in a race.
The driver’s vehicle became disabled after Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies deployed spikes on the highway to deflate the SUV’s tires, agency spokesman Adam Linhardt said. One person is in custody.
The chase began around 8 a..m. in the Middle Keys city of Marathon. The FHP has not responded to requests for details about the incident, but witnesses describe seeing the SUV speeding north on U.S. 1, even driving into oncoming traffic to get away from pursuing troopers.
One witness, Roger George, provided footage from a camera in his work van showing the SUV quickly passing his vehicle, with an FHP patrol car immediately following.
He said both cars were briefly in the southbound lanes before veering back into the northbound lanes.
After deputies spiked the SUV’s tires, it crashed across the highway from Bud N’ Mary’s Marina at mile marker 79, according to witnesses. The
Islamorada Fire Rescue Chief Terry Abel said his crews responded to the scene, but information about injures wasn’t immediately available.
Abel told the Herald that if the chase went any farther up U.S. 1, there was the possibility runners in the race could have been injured or worse.
“We got super lucky that person didn’t hit any of the runners competing today,” Abel said.
This report will be updated as more information becomes available.