LIVONIA -- A high-speed chase over several parishes stretched down Interstate 49 before the driver was stopped by Livonia police.

The pursuit last week began in Evangeline Parish and continued south into St. Landry Parish before the suspect was stopped in Livonia’s jurisdiction, Livonia Police Chief Landon Landry said. 

The driver had been stopped by Evangeline Parish deputies for driving 40 mph over the speed limit but fled and led them on a chase that stretched more than 50 miles. 

Livonia Police used spike strips on the overpass in Livonia to stop the vehicle, which veered off on a side road. Meanwhile, a unit from the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office was totaled in a crash while pursuing the suspect.

The Evangeline Parish deputy did not sustain injuries.

Troopers from Louisiana State Police stopped the suspect on La. 411, about two miles outside the Livonia corporate limits, where the suspect was changing a flat tire, Landry said.

“Every agency has a special, and state troopers are just apt to have a different way of thinking, and they knew to go along those side roads,” he said. “No other vehicle was able to catch up, so they got out and patrolled side streets and caught him.”

The communications systems for agencies across the state also helped apprehend the suspect, he said.

“The multiagency radios enable us to work together very well,” Landry said. It’s all about sharing resources and keeping up with the equipment and the training.

“You may go years without using some of the equipment, but it’s better to have it and not need it rather than to need it and not have it,” he said. “Had that man continued on at 150 miles per hour in Livonia through that red light, it could’ve very well led to a fatality, but the spike strip slowed him down.”

With US 190 serving as a major artery in close proximity to Interstates 10 and 49, traffic stops keep agencies in Livonia and Port Barre on extra alert, Landry said.

“You never know … one minute you’re unlocking a car, and the next minute you’re using spike strips,” he said. “In small towns, it’s about keeping up with the equipment and the training.

“You may go years without using some of the equipment, but it’s better to have it and not need it rather than to need it and not have it,” Landry said. “Had that man continued on at 150 miles per hour in Livonia through that red light, it could’ve very well led to a fatality, but the spike strip slowed him down.”