Witnesses sought by ISP to 2018 single fatality crash near Riggins

Investigation

A suspect in several Clearwater Valley area burglaries was arrested last week following a high-speed pursuit up U.S. Highway 12 involving multiple agencies.

A preliminary hearing is set for this Thursday, April 23, for Clayton Robertson, 30, of Kooskia. He is charged with eluding a police officer, possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), unlawful possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, all felonies; and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Investigation is continuing by the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office, with further unrelated charges pending.

Robertson was arrested Sunday evening, April 12, after an approximately 60-mile chase with speeds reaching in excess of 90 mph, according to detective Brian Hewson. The incident began around 7:40 p.m. when Hewson and ICSO Deputy Jason Hicks were at an Adams Grade property outside of Kamiah, recovering stolen property, including a camp trailer containing multiple stolen items.

“We were investigating Clayton Robertson for the theft of a lot of items in the area, and we were gathering up property from where he had his camper parked,” Hewson said.

As Hewson and Hicks left the property, they encountered Robertson driving toward them up the grade.

“We noticed it was him and pulled over to the side,” Hewson said, and Robertson turned around and stopped in the middle of the road to talk with them. “We started talking about the property we had and the trailer we had hooked up, and then he took off at an accelerated rate.”

The pair followed Robertson as he went to Glenwood, then Woodland and onto U.S. 12, during which, according to Hewson, Robertson blew through two stop signs. Hicks was subsequently joined by Deputy Stan Denham, as the chase went past his house, and Hewson – who was slowed by the trailer he had connected during this time – disconnected at the Kooskia weigh-station and proceeded after the group. Meanwhile, assisting from east of the chase were Idaho State Police Trooper David Wesche and Idaho Fish and Game Officer Michael Wampler who deployed a spike strip.

Around milepost 129 (63 miles east of Kamiah), the Dodge Caravan rental Robertson was driving went over the spike strip, puncturing three tires, and the vehicle stopped in the eastbound lane. Robertson was pulled out at gunpoint, according to Hewson, complied and taken into custody. During this, Robertson had managed to lock the vehicle and throw the keys away, which were later retrieved.

During a search of the vehicle, two firearms were found; this resulted in a felony charge for Robertson, who is on felony probation from a prior conviction. At the Idaho County Jail, Robertson was allegedly found in possession of an unidentified quantity of methamphetamine. Due to speeds involved in the pursuit, traveling in excess of 30 mph of posted speed, this put the charge as a felony.

“A conversation turned into three felonies,” Hewson said.

For several weeks, ICSO has been investigating stolen property cases, one of which involved a Lewis County residential burglary on U.S. 12, according to Hewson. The owner lives in Colorado, and the family recently discovered the home had been burglarized with personal property taken, along with a trailer and boat. Two more burglaries, believed related, are close to investigation completion, which Hewson said are likely to be tied to Robertson.

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