A North Platte man was found drinking Tuesday night in a wrecked, stolen SUV after a high speed chase, the Lincoln County sheriff’s office said.
According to a sheriff’s statement, deputies were asked to help in a high-speed pursuit north of the city around 8:50 p.m. Monday.
As deputies responded, police called off the chase because of high speeds and slippery roads.
Police spokesman John Deal said an officer first saw a dark colored SUV around 8:30 p.m., traveling north at a high rate of speed on U.S. 83 on the north side of town, near 18th St.
The car did not stop when police tried to pull it over. Due to slick road conditions, the officer decided not to pursue, Deal said.
Police notified the sheriff’s office and the state patrol that the car was last seen in the area of Suburban Road and U.S. 83.
Just a few minutes later, police were summoned to Casey’s, 520 Rodeo Rd. by the report of a stolen SUV, Deal said.
A victim said they left a blue 2007 Toyota Highlander running when they went inside and someone took it.
Deal said surveillance footage showed a man, identified as Robert Cheever, leave the store, but surveillance footage was not available of the parking lot, so police could not confirm who actually got in the SUV and drove away.
However, they believed it was the same SUV that was speeding out of town.
While sheriff’s deputies were searching the area north of town for the SUV, a 911 call came in, reporting that a car had rolled on North Sandhills Road.
When deputies arrived at the scene, they found the stolen car, and they also found the man at the wheel was drinking an “alcoholic beverage,” a sheriff’s statement said.
The SUV was indentified as the stolen Highland and Cheever was identified as the driver.
Cheever, 48, was injured and taken to Great Plains Health, where he remained Tuesday. He has not been booked into jail yet, but that is expected to happen when he is released from the hospital.
Charges are pending and the investigation is ongoing, the sheriff’s statement said.
(This report was updated Tuesday afternoon.)