Woman leads police on high-speed chase
California resident takes whirlwind tour of Wood River Valley
By GREG MOORE
Express Staff Writer
Police say they are baffled by the actions of a 56-year-old woman who
allegedly led them on an almost 65-mile high-speed chase on Sunday that involved speeds in
the mid 70s through downtown Hailey and Bellevue.
Delores Peggy Nixt, from near Redding, Calif., was arrested by a
Bellevue Marshals deputy along state Highway 75 just north of Shoshone on a felony
charge of eluding police. The arrest came after Nixts white Toyota Corolla had
thumped to a stop following an encounter with a set of road spikes dragged across the
highway by the Shoshone Police Department.
Nixt was arraigned in Fifth District Court in Hailey on Monday, and was
still in Blaine County Jail yesterday after failing to post a $25,000 bond.
According to Ketchum Police Capt. J.T. Creviston, Nixts wild ride
started about noon 10 miles north of Ketchum when she was spotted by another motorist as
she drove south in the north-bound lane. Creviston said a Ketchum officer headed north out
of town to intercept her, and saw her pass another car in a no-passing zone north of
Saddle Road. Creviston said the officer turned on his flashing lights and gave chase.
According to Creviston, Nixt slowed up behind traffic in Ketchum, but
then hit the gas just south of town, passing the hospital construction site at 75 miles
Blaine County Sheriff Walt Femling said he happened to be driving north
at the time in his own car, and saw Nixts Toyota barreling south in the center turn
lane. Creviston said cars going both directions were pulling off onto the shoulders to let
Creviston said the Ketchum officer chased Nixt almost to Hailey, when
he slowed down and dropped the chase.
"He was just trying to keep in sight of her without pushing
her," Creviston said. "But apparently, she just wanted to get out of the
According to Hailey Police Sgt. Jeff Frost, Nixt "never even
slowed down" as she entered Hailey, and was clocked at 74 miles per hour. Frost said
a Hailey officer followed her through town at a distance.
Bellevue Marshal Jeff Gunter said a Bellevue deputy picked up the chase
just south of Hailey, but also backed off as Nixt entered Bellevue, where she was clocked
at 75 miles per hour.
Gunter said the Bellevue and Hailey officers chased Nixt from south of
Bellevue, through the U.S. Highway 20 intersection and on toward Shoshone. Sheriff Femling
said Nixt was clocked at 99 miles per hour south of Timmerman Hill.
Gunter said that after Nixts car hit the road spikes north of
Shoshone, at 12:47 p.m., she locked her car doors and refused to come out for over half an
He said officers did not want to approach the car until Idaho State
Police officers took cover behind a tree from where they could see that she did not have a
gun. At that point, he said, other officers went up to the car and persuaded Nixt to
Creviston said Nixt told officers she had not stopped initially because
she had "felt scared." However, he said he did not know what she meant by that.
Gunter said he was mystified as to why a person not wanted for a serious crime would try
to evade police.
"From what Ive seen of her past history, theres really
no reason for it," he said.
Gunter said there was no indication that Nixt had been under the
influence of drugs or alcohol, though she was not given a breath test. Queried as to how
Nixt got so far without being stopped, Femling said few officers patrol on Sunday. He said
his department maintains a set of road spikes at the U.S. Highway 20 junction, but that no
officers were able to get there before Nixt did.
All the officers interviewed said it is their departments policy
to back off on high-speed chases when the pursued vehicle enters a populated area.
"With all the communications we have with other jurisdictions,
theres no point in doing a full-bore chase," Creviston said.
According to the Twin Falls Times-News, a person in a van pursued by
Minidoka County Sheriffs deputies died Sunday as the result of a high-speed chase in
Creviston said the spikes used by police agencies put small holes in
the tires of a vehicle that drives over them, causing them to deflate slowly.
"At that point, its either run on flat tires and rims or
stop," he said. "Most people tend to stop."