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UHP: Armed standoff ends on I-70 in south central Utah

Published March 7, 2013 2:53 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A tense armed standoff with an apparently suicidal woman who led the Utah Highway Patrol on a high-speed chase ended Thursday without any injuries, according to officials.

The standoff shut down a 60-mile-long section of Interstate 70 in both directions, diverting traffic to Highways 10 and 6. Normal traffic flow resumed on I-70 by 12:45 p.m.

The UHP said that at about 8:30 a.m., a trooper tried to stop the driver of a Geo Tracker — Jaime L. Warhurst, 36, from Mississippi — who was headed east on the interstate between Richfield and Salina after finding that its license plate was registered to another vehicle. Instead of pulling over, Warhurst sped up and led the trooper on a chase that reached speeds between 80 and 90 mph.

Troopers successfully deployed spikes, taking out two tires before the vehicle was finally stopped by a Pursuit Intervention Technique, or PIT, maneuver. A trooper then found Warhurst holding a handgun to her chin, which led to calls for backup.

A small army of police, including UHP troopers and Emery County sheriff's deputies, surrounded the woman's car in the eastbound lanes near Eagle Canyon, roughly midway between Salina and Green River.

A negotiator arrived on scene to speak with Warhurst, and at about 12:20 p.m., some four hours later, she put the gun down and was taken into custody without incident.

No shots were exchanged during the standoff, UHP said Thursday. Warhurst was taken by ambulance to a Richfield hospital and was set to be booked into the Sevier County Jail.

remims@sltrib.com

kbennion@sltrib.com