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High-speed highway chase ends near Afton

The driver of a van that was reportedly stolen led St. Croix sheriff's deputies and on a 19-mile chase early Monday before the vehicle was eventually stopped by Minnesota authorities on a rural road, southeast of Woodbury. A man was taken into custody.

St. Croix Dispatch Center records indicate the pursuit began at 5:24 a.m. near Baldwin when a deputy spotted the van, which was said to be stolen.

The chase ran westbound on I-94 at speeds of 85 mph or more and the van shifting from one lane to another. Before the van reached mile-marker 12, east of Roberts, a state trooper was to deploy stop-sticks, flattening two of the van's tires. A St. Croix County deputy put out more spikes at mile-marker 9, but the van continued at a high rate of speed.

Upon crossing the St. Croix River bridge, the driver turned onto Hwy. 95, heading south.

The pursuing officer estimated the fugitive's speed through the Lower St. Croix Beach roundabouts at 55 mph.

At one point, the officer announced the van had struck the median, showering the road with vehicle parts and it appeared he was about to crash, but then recovered again -- with all four tires now flattened. That occurred at 5:50 a.m.

Washington County sheriff's deputies then picked up the chase and soon reported that they had the individual stopped on 19th Street, east of St. Croix Trail and just north of Afton. The suspect was taken into custody at 5:53 a.m.