Woman leads Utah County deputies on wild chase

Published: Tuesday, July 2 2013 11:40 a.m. MDT

A charred vehicle is all that remains of a wild chase through Utah County on Tuesday morning, July 2, 2013, when the chase reached speeds of more than 120 mph and ended when the fleeing vehicle became completely engulfed in flames.

Steve Landeen, Deseret News

OREM — A wild chase through Utah County on Tuesday morning reached speeds of 120 mph and ended more than 50 miles later when the fleeing vehicle became completely engulfed in flames.

The incident began about 7:15 a.m. on I-15 near Orem when a deputy noticed a vehicle coming up behind him quickly, Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said. The deputy sped up to 90 mph, and the female driver still passed him.

The deputy turned on his emergency lights and siren, but the woman did not pull over. When the deputy's car reached 110 mph, the woman was still pulling away from him, Cannon said.

Near Spanish Fork, the deputy lost sight of the woman. A detective in an unmarked vehicle spotted her again near Benjamin, and another deputy resumed the chase in Payson.

North of Mona, deputies twice deployed spikes, puncturing three of the vehicle's tires. But the woman continued to drive at about 85 mph, Cannon said.

Just south of Nephi, the woman's car caught fire. Two miles later, she stopped her car — which was now fully on fire — got out and ran. She was tracked down by pursuing officers quickly and arrested.

The woman initially claimed there was someone else in the car, which was now fully engulfed in flames, but deputies quickly determined that to be false.

Other than that, she refused to talk to police and did not have any identification on her. Based on the vehicle's registration, law enforcement in California was contacted and confirmed that the woman was 34-year-old Myra G. Howard, who was believed to most recently be living in Salt Lake City.

Overall, the chase covered about 50 miles in less than 30 minutes.

Howard was booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of evading, reckless driving and obstruction of justice. Cannon said detectives were also looking at intoxication possibly being a factor.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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