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High-speed chase ends in crash
Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A high-speed chase that began Monday afternoon in Durango ended west of Pagosa Springs when the suspect lost control of his vehicle and hit a pickup truck at the intersection of Trails Boulevard and U.S. 160.

According to a Colorado State patrol report, the incident began Monday, July 6, at approximately 3:12 p.m. when La Plata County Dispatch received a report of a robbery at the Best Western Hotel on U.S. 160 west, in Durango.

The suspect, 50-year-old Brian Kuykendall, of Woodward, Okla., allegedly entered the hotel and robbed it of an undisclosed amount of cash.

Durango Police and La Plata County Sheriff’s deputies responded and initiated a pursuit as the suspect fled at high rates of speed, eastbound on U.S. 160 in a 2002 Ford Mustang.

Bayfield marshals deployed a tire deflation device near Gem Village, but the suspect was able to avoid it and continued eastbound toward Pagosa Springs.

Colorado State Patrol troopers then deployed a tire deflation device near the La Plata/Archuleta County line, but the suspect again successfully avoided the device and continued eastbound.

Near Pagosa Springs, Town of Pagosa Springs Police Chief Jim Saunders ordered the closure of U.S. 160 westbound as the pursuit neared the west city limits. At approximately 4 p.m. the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Department and the Pagosa Springs Police Department deployed another tire deflation device near Trails Boulevard, and as the suspect again attempted to avoid the device, he lost control of his car and slid sideways across the westbound lanes of U.S. 160.

The vehicle then continued off the north side of the highway where it collided with a 1996 Ford pickup that was stopped at the stop sign on Trails Boulevard. The driver of the pickup, Todd Pitcher of Pagosa Springs, was not injured in the crash.

After a brief scuffle with police and deputies, Kuykendall was taken into custody, treated for minor injuries at Pagosa Mountain Hospital, then transported to the La Plata County Jail where he was booked.

According to Durango Police Department Capt. Micki Browning, Kuykendall faces charges of alluding and aggravated robbery, a Class 3 felony.

Kuykendall remains in the La Plata County Jail. He is being held on a $50,000 bond.