Scottsbluff Police arrested a Canadian man after he lead police on a pursuit that ended after the man drove through a fence and struck a power pole at the Scottsbluff airport.
Henry George Funk, 35, of Alberta, Canada, has been jailed on charges of driving under the influence, flight to avoid arrest and leaving the scene of an accident, Sgt. Cody Enlow said in a press release.
Police became engaged with Funk at about 10:37 p.m. Wednesday after responding to a report of a vehicle having struck a pole and a fire hydrant at W. 27th Street and Avenue B. A responding officer observed a flatbed semi at the entrance to the San Pedro Restaurant and Watering Hole and a semi turning around in the open parking lot between the two businesses. The driver of the semi then entered West 27th Street, fleeing eastbound on 27th Street, through the Fifth Avenue and Highway 26 intersections as the officer pursued him. The semi accelerated, driving at high speeds. In the area of Western Nebraska Community College, Enlow said, the driver was allegedly traveling at speeds in excess of 65 miles per hour, and at one point, at the intersection of East 27th Street and 21st Avenue, the semi went airborne.
Enlow said the driver continued eastbound on County Road K, continuing to travel at speeds in excess of 65 miles per hour. Once arriving at the Western Nebraska Regional Airport, the driver drove through a locked gate on the west side of the airport. He drove eastbound across open fields and runways on the airport before striking a wooden power pole, shearing the pole. The driver then drove through a chain link fence, tearing down several hundred feet of fencing and posts, before the semi eventually spun out and rolled.
After a short standoff with officers, the driver was extricated from the vehicle and he was transported by Valley Ambulance Service to RWMC for injuries he suffered in the crash. The driver, identified as Funk, was treated for a laceration on the back of his head and observed for several hours before being released to be jailed at the Scotts Bluff County Detention Center.
Scottsbluff Police were assisted by Scottsbluff Fire Department, Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office, Nebraska State Patrol, Scotts Bluff Rural Fire Department, as well as the Airport Fire Department and Ron’s Towing.