Man is dead after police chase through Kamas
November 20, 2010
A man is dead after leading deputies on a chase through Summit County then shooting himself in Francis. Several law enforcement agencies assisted the Summit County Sheriff’s Office in the chase, which began when the suspect’s vehicle was spotted on eastbound Interstate 80 in Silver Creek Canyon. The driver of the dark sport utility vehicle was a suspect in a robbery that took place at a Smith’s store in Sugar House, according to Sgt. Ron Bridge, a spokesman for the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. Bridge identified the man as 41-year-old Steven Blanche. The vehicle had a Wyoming license plate and Blanche recently spent time in prison in Utah, according to Bridge. Officers in Salt Lake City contacted the Summit County Sheriff’s Office Friday afternoon asking them to watch for the suspicious vehicle. The vehicle was spotted near Wanship. "The vehicle exited the freeway at Wanship where the deputies attempted to conduct a traffic stop," according to Bridge. Officers gave chase when Blanche refused to stop, Bridge said. The vehicle proceeded south along State Road 32. "As the vehicle traveled through the town of Oakley, additional Summit County deputies deployed a tire deflation device which deflated three of the vehicle’s tires," Bridge said in a prepared statement. "With three tires deflated, the vehicle continued through Kamas and into Francis." People left their homes and workplaces in the South Summit area Friday evening to watch the chase. The pursuit ended alongside Spring Hollow Road when a deputy’s cruiser was used to force the suspect’s vehicle off the street, Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds said in a telephone interview. While seated in the vehicle Blanche shot himself to death when the chase ended, Edmunds said. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. "No citizens were hurt, no deputies were hurt," Edmunds said.