A motorist led a Curry County deputy in hot pursuit on dirt roads southwest of Clovis early Wednesday morning before escaping, according to Undersheriff Doug Bowman.
Bowman said the deputy was eastbound on County Road 8 when he noticed a vehicle that failed to dim its bright lights despite the deputy repeatedly flashing his brights.
“(The other vehicle) came into his lane causing (the deputy) to run off the road,” Bowman said. “He turned around to stop the vehicle to see what the problem was. Since the road was narrow in that place it took him a little while to get the vehicle turned around, and when he engaged his emergency lights and equipment the vehicle took off.”
Bowman said the pursuit reached speeds up to 70 mph on twisting and turning dirt roads. Bowman said the deputy had been hanging back in his pursuit due to night visibility conditions and dust clouds until the vehicle stopped at the intersection of County Road 5 and County Road N.
“The vehicle stopped and the driver fled on foot. We never found the guy,” Bowman said. “We’ve got the vehicle and some information out of the vehicle but we have not yet identified him.”
Bowman said Curry County called for backup from the New Mexico State Patrol and did a search of the area, but were not able to locate the driver. When contacted, the vehicle owner said he had not been the driver.
“We’re still in the process of investigating how the car came into the driver’s possession,” Bowman said.
Bowman said Curry County deputies deal with vehicle pursuits only about eight times per year.