2 arrested, 1 dead after after two unrelated police chases through Colbert

By: Steven Powell Email
By: Steven Powell Email

BRYAN COUNTY, OK -- It was just after 5:30 Sunday afternoon when Colbert police received a call from Denison officers about a suspect crossing the border on Hwy 75 at high speeds.

Colbert Police Chief Jeff Goerke said one of his officers was waiting for the driver on the highway.

"The individual went past him at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. My officer attempted to stop him, and that pursuit went all the way north to Caddo," he said.

Authorities put down spike strips along the highway, which they say successfully blew out his tire. But he kept going, driving on the rim. The showers of sparks started few grass fires along the highway.

Goerke said Oklahoma Highway Patrol arrested the driver, Christopher Scott Burton, after they finally managed to stop him in Atoka County.

But only hours later, just before 1 a.m. Monday, a second chase happened in Colbert when an officer tried to pull over a speeding vehicle.

"The officer attempted to stop him. that vehicle continued to on over to South Franklin, attempted to go on to River Road, and there was an accident at that time," Goerke said.

OHP Trooper Scott King said a driver and two passengers were in the car that police were chasing.

"The vehicle tried to take this curb at a high rate of speed, loss control and struck a tree," he said.

King said Neil Allen Johnston was ejected from the backseat and died at the scene. The second passenger, Skyler Renee Justice, was taken to Texoma Medical Center.

They arrested the driver, Kellis Glenn Barnett, who refused treatment.

"Right now, the charges are pending, we're waiting to talk with the D.A. He had a warrant out of Bryan County already. So right now he's currently being held on that warrant," King said.

They're still investigating why Barnett tried to elude police. OHP said Burton is wanted in Dallas for aggravated assault on a public servant.


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