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Chase turns into a crash

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SALEM -- A Canistota man who fled law enforcement Tuesday on Interstate 90 crashed his vehicle into a tree at the end of a low-speed chase.

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South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Casey Bassett said he attempted to pull over a vehicle on I-90 in the early afternoon for not having a front license plate.

"I stopped the vehicle for an equipment violation," Bassett said.

The vehicle, driven by Michael Popkes, 32, briefly stopped, but took off again and traveled through McCook County, Bassett said. Topkes fled law enforcement because he had a suspended driver's license, Bassett said.

Popkes left the interstate at the Salem exit and traveled north on state Highway 81 until he turned east onto 255th Street. He traveled above the speed limit on the gravel roads, Bassett said, but not to the point it was an aggravated circumstance, which would mean the driver drove in a way that could cause risk of death or serious injury to another.

Popkes eventually turned south onto 449th Avenue, where his vehicle went into the ditch at the intersection of 449th Avenue and 256th Street and struck a tree. Bassett said Popkes was not injured.

He is charged with misdemeanor eluding law enforcement. Bassett declined release any other information Tuesday.

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