Crash Ending Caps Wild Vehicle Chase Encompassing Three Counties

Teller County Assault Suspect Hospitalized After Law Officer Pursuit

Trevor Phipps


Just as crime incidents in the Ute Pass region appeared to ease up in recent months, another crazy car chase occurred recently, spreading through three adjacent counties including Teller, and involving a dangerous felon.

The bizarre case has received much attention and has become the talk of the area for several weeks.

A wild police pursuit originated locally in mid-May after deputies received reports of domestic violence. It ended in a single-car collision in Summit County just outside of Breckenridge.


The wild situation kicked off at around four in the morning on May 18 when the Teller County Sheriff’s Office responded to an injured female who was at the hospital in Woodland Park. Once the deputies arrived, they learned that the woman had suffered from serious bodily harm in a domestic violence incident that allegedly occurred somewhere in Teller County.


The deputies then found out that the suspect in the case was a previous felony offender and that there was a good chance that he was unlawfully in possession of a firearm. The deputies obtained a search warrant for the property where the incident occurred.


The law enforcement agents also got enough evidence to secure a felony domestic violence arrest warrant for the suspect who they identified as 51-year-old Mark Tuckel. The judge signed the order to allow deputies to arrest Tuckel on the following charges: felony menacing, felony assault, domestic violence, harassment and possession of a weapon by a previous offender.


The Teller County deputies then put out a description of the car for law enforcement agents across the state to be looking for. Then just before 10 a.m. that morning, the Park County Sheriff’s received the report that the suspect was armed and dangerous as well as possibly intoxicated by illegal substances. The Park County deputies knew he had a violent criminal record and that he was most likely carrying at least one firearm on him.


About 15 minutes after receiving the tip from Teller County, a Park County deputy spotted the suspect’s vehicle travelling northbound on Highway 9 south of Fairplay and north of Hartsel. The deputy followed the vehicle closely and waited until he had backup to attempt a traffic stop.


Just before 11:30 a.m. assistance had arrived and the Park County deputy along with officers from the Fairplay Police Department and the Colorado State Patrol turned on their lights and sirens in an attempt to pull over the suspect’s vehicle. However, instead of pulling over for the slew of officers on his tail, the suspect fled.


The law enforcement agents initiated a pursuit with the suspect as he raced through Fairplay and continued north on Highway 9 through Alma and on the way to Breckenridge. The officers continued to follow Tuckel as he zipped through Alma and started to head up Hoosier Pass towards Breckenridge at speeds topping off at 90 miles per hour.


“The chase escalated dangerously as the suspect recklessly maneuvered onto opposite lanes, prompting the Park County Sheriff’s Office to halt pursuit at 11:28 AM to prevent further public endangerment,” a press release sent out by the Park County Sheriff’s Office stated.


Just over 10 minutes after the decision was made to end the chase, the Park County Sheriff’s Office received reports that the suspect’s vehicle had crashed off the road while headed down the north side of Hoosier Pass just north of Blue River Road in the town of Blue River located a few miles south of Breckenridge on Highway 9.


As soon as the Summit County Sheriff’s Office got the call about the crash, they called for backup and waited until there were several deputies present to approach the suspect’s vehicle. But once they approached the collision site, the found that the suspect had sustained serious injuries. He was then promptly air-lifted to a hospital in Denver in critical condition.


The Colorado State Patrol is currently investigating the cause of the crash, but the high speeds the vehicle was going on the windy mountain road created very dangerous conditions for the suspect and other motorists in the area. According to officials, no other vehicles were involved in the wreck and nobody else was injured during the chase.


The incident marks yet another case of crimes occurring in Teller County committed by people coming from other areas who have criminal records. Teller County Sheriff Jason Mikesell has recently brought public attention to related incidents where criminals who repeatedly break the law commit serious crimes in Teller County.