On January 7, 2018 at approximately 9:49 p.m. a Mitchell NE Police Officer responded to a report of a 1994 Chevrolet pickup going west in the eastbound lane of Highway 26 approaching Mitchell. The Officer located the vehicle at a convenience store and attempted to stop it as it was leaving eastbound on Highway 26. The vehicle initially stopped, and the driver then fled when the Officer exited his car. As the vehicle was fleeing from the Mitchell Police Department, the truck was traveling eastbound on Highway 26, at times traveling in the wrong lane of traffic and at speeds in excess of 95 mph. Deputies attempted to deploy spike strips west of Scottsbluff but the driver avoided them. The vehicle entered Scottsbluff on Highway 26 and eventually turned right (south) onto Avenue I. The pursuit continued southbound on Avenue I until the vehicle crossed the railroad tracks located north of the Avenue I and West 20th Street intersection. After crossing the railroad tracks, the pickup truck lost control and crashed into a large tree in the front yard of a residence located at 2029 Avenue I, resulting in the driver being ejected from the vehicle.
The driver was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as Joseph Roy Anthony Beeler, age 37, of Mitchell NE. Next of kin has been notified.
Seatbelts were not in use at the time of the crash and alcohol is suspected. At the time of the crash the vehicle was pursued by the Nebraska State Patrol and the Scottsbluff Police Department. Mitchell Police Department terminated its pursuit a few blocks north of the crash site.
The Scotts Bluff County Sheriff’s Office is handling the investigation into the crash and was assisted by the Nebraska State Patrol, Scottsbluff Police Department, Mitchell Police Department and the Scottsbluff Fire Department.
The investigation is ongoing.