A man who works in the auto body department at the Viking Lupient car dealership in Rochester recognized a red Ford pickup truck while driving home March 18.
He knew that truck, because he repainted it before it was stolen off the lot earlier in the week. The man followed the truck as it left the Cenex gas station in Oronoco and called the cops.
According to charges filed by the Olmsted County Attorney, a Minnesota state trooper caught up to stolen red pickup less than a mile east of Oronoco. The trooper flipped on the lights, pulled a U-turn, and saw the driver, David Collier, and passenger, Courtney Archer, look back.
Archer, 23, has been arrested at least 11 times since 2011 and had a warrant out for her arrest related to a stolen property case. She was not keen on going back to jail, and urged Collier, who also boasts a long rap sheet full of mostly drug and theft charges, to take off.
So Collier, 25, slammed on the accelerator.
He did everything he could to shake the trooper. He sped through a roundabout going the wrong way, swerved around stop sticks put out by the Goodhue County Sheriff by cutting into oncoming traffic, crashed through someone's lawn, and barreled into an RV dealership parking lot.
A state trooper tried unsuccessfully to take him out with a PIT manuever after he left the RV dealership, and eventually the chase moved to gravel back roads. Collier drove 80 mph, weaving back and forth.
As the chase continued he trampled across a field and through three different fences with two state troopers hot on his tail. After crashing through the third fence Collier's truck landed unevenly in a ditch.
That's when one of the state troopers saw an opportunity and moved in. Collier responded by whipping his truck around 180 degrees to face the squad car.
The chase was now a demolition derby.
The two vehicles drove straight at each other, smashing together head-on. Collier's truck won the battle and survived the collision, but as he backed away from the wrecked squad car the second state trooper crashed into the passenger side of the truck.
The second squad car was also totaled. The state trooper inside struggled, first with the air bags that had deployed, then with his seat belt, and finally with the driver's side door. He was trapped, and saw Collier backing up the truck to make another charge.
The state trooper shot out his driver's side window and fired two more shots at the truck as it made its final charge. One of the bullets was found in the truck's fender and the other one likely ricocheted off the windshield.
While gun shots rang out, the driver of the first squad car got out, approached the truck, and told Collier to put his hands up. Collier finally complied and the chase was over.
Collier and Archer have both been charged with fleeing a police officer, a felony carrying a maximum sentence of three years and a day. Collier admitted to police he would test positive for marijuana and meth, and that he took off because he also had a warrant out for his arrest, with five years in prison hanging over his head.
They're both currently locked up in Olmsted County Jail.
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