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Driver locked up for triggering police chase, crash

The Brandon courthouse.

BRUCE BUMSTEAD/BRANDON SUN Enlarge Image

The Brandon courthouse.

A man who led police on a high-speed chase that ended with a head-on collision with a police car has been sentenced to prison.

"It’s remarkable to me that, given the circumstances, everybody walked away from this without serious injuries," Judge Shauna Hewitt-Michta said during sentencing in Brandon provincial court.

Jesse Michael Degrace, 24, recently pleaded guilty to numerous charges that included dangerous driving, flight from police, possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

He also pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking.

Court heard that an RCMP officer was patrolling the Trans-Canada Highway on Oct. 3 when he clocked an SUV going 163 km/h in a 100 km/h zone.

The officer switched on his emergency lights and followed the SUV, which continued at 160 km/h to 163 km/h along the highway and then turned into Oak Lake.

The fleeing driver, Degrace, sped along Oak Lake’s main street at 135 km/h to 140 km/h in a 50 km/h zone.

The SUV passed a couple as they walked their dog on the shoulder of the road and ran a stop sign before it turned into a dead-end street.

When Degrace tried to pull a U-turn to escape, he crashed head-on into the pursuing police cruiser.

The crash was at low speed, and the officer kicked open the door to his damaged cruiser and arrested Degrace at gunpoint.

Inside the SUV, which had been stolen from Moosomin, Sask., was a can of bear mace, 104 grams of marijuana and keys to a stolen pickup truck.

Degrace was wanted on a number of charges from other provinces.

Crown attorney Rich Lonstrup noted that Degrace, who's originally from London, Ont., has mental health issues.

Degrace failed in a previous bid to be released on bail, and had spent 70 days in custody prior to sentencing last week.

Hewitt-Michta sentenced Degrace to a further two years in prison.

» ihitchen@brandonsun.com

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 19, 2013

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A man who led police on a high-speed chase that ended with a head-on collision with a police car has been sentenced to prison.

"It’s remarkable to me that, given the circumstances, everybody walked away from this without serious injuries," Judge Shauna Hewitt-Michta said during sentencing in Brandon provincial court.

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A man who led police on a high-speed chase that ended with a head-on collision with a police car has been sentenced to prison.

"It’s remarkable to me that, given the circumstances, everybody walked away from this without serious injuries," Judge Shauna Hewitt-Michta said during sentencing in Brandon provincial court.

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