01/07/20: Crime, Courts, Accidents & Incidents


January 7, 2021

• Arrested after pursuit in Spirit Lake

A Royal man was arrested following a pursuit in Spirit Lake early New Year’s Day.

According to the Spirit Lake Police Department, an officer clocked a Chevrolet Tahoe on Highways 9 and 71 traveling 49 mph in a 25 mph zone. The vehicle pulled into the Hy-Vee parking lot but as the officer got out of his vehicle, the Tahoe fled the scene and headed north on Peoria Avenue, reaching speeds reported in excess of 100 mph.

As he approached 140th Street, the driver attempted to continue northbound on 240th Avenue but failed to negotiate a curve. The vehicle went into the ditch and struck several signs before coming to rest.

The driver, identified as Turner Reece Keith Mortensen, 21, of Royal, was arrested without incident and booked into the Dickinson County jail on charges of Operating While Intoxicated-1st Offense, Eluding with Injury and numerous traffic offenses.

A passenger in Mortensen’s vehicle was seen by paramedics after complaining of pain.

The Okoboji and Arnolds Park police departments and Spirit Lake Ambulance assisted the Spirit Lake Police Department.

• Loses control on snow-covered road

A snow-covered road contributed to a rollover accident that occurred on Dec. 30 at 5:38 a.m.

The O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office reported that Samantha Kimberley Johnson, 21, of Sanborn, was southbound in the 2900 mile of Redwood Avenue when she lost control of her 1999 Buick LeSabre due to snow conditions on the road surface. The vehicle was pulled into the west ditch, rolled once and came to rest on its wheels.

Johnson was taken to Sanford Sheldon Medical Center by private vehicle, having complained of pain/injury. Damage to the LeSabre was estimated at $500.

• Sideswipes passing vehicle

The O’Brien County Sheriff’s Office investigated a two-vehicle accident that occurred Jan. 2 on Highway 60 at 12:09 p.m.

The report stated that vehicles driven by Cade Philip Kuchel, 19, of Spirit Lake, and Luis Daniel Santiago Arzola, 38, of Little Rock, were southbound on Highway 60. Arzola lost control of his 2004 Jeep Wrangler which sideswiped a 2016 Chevrolet Silverado driven by Kuchel, who was in the left passing lane overtaking Arzola.

Arzola stated he hit an icy spot on the bridge. The deputy reported heavy fog, but no visible precipitation coming down and the roadway seemed dry.

Damage to the Silverado was listed at $2,000 and damage to the Jeep was estimated at $1,000. Neither driver was injured.


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