July 18th, 2024

Low-speed chase nets driver jail time

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on December 19, 2023.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

A 37-year-old southern Alberta man who thought he could get away from police while pulling a trailer with his vehicle, has received a three-month jail sentence.

Lucas Lloyd Lundstrum was sentenced after he pleaded guilty in Lethbridge court of justice to a charge of flight from a peace officer.

While patrolling Highway 3 on Nov. 3 an RCMP officer noticed a truck pulling a holiday trailer with an Ontario licence plate that was not registered to the vehicle. When the officer attempted to pull the driver over, he sped off, leading the officer on a relatively low-speed chase.

The officer pulled alongside the vehicle, identified Lundstrum as the driver, then pulled over on the side of the road and contacted Taber RCMP, whose first attempt to stop the driver was unsuccessful.

“A covert spike belt was set up but it was not hit,” explained Crown Prosecutor Marshall Gourlay.

Taber police found Lundstrum as he was driving in a back alley, where he was unable to flee and ultimately arrested.

Lethbridge lawyer Vincent Guinan said his client was in a process of loading up the trailer and moving himself and his family up north to work in the oilpatch.

“Mr. Lundstrum knows that it was a poor decision, but he’s doing the right thing now by dealing with it quickly,” Guinan said. “In these circumstances, I don’t think the Crown had characterized it as an overly dangerous flight.”

“He wasn’t even exceeding the speed limit on the highway,” agreed Justice Kristin Ailsby.

Lundstrum, who has a criminal record but no convictions for flight from police, was sentenced to 90 days in jail, minus 45 days for time he had already spent in custody.

Additional charges of driving while prohibited, unlawfully transporting liquor in a vehicle, and displaying unauthorized license plates, were withdrawn.

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