LOGAN — A 19-year-old Idaho man is in the Cache County Jail after trying to flee from police and causing a crash that sent four people to the hospital, according to law enforcement. Braxton Jacob Banta was booked Monday, Jan. 23, after officers found him hiding in a barn.
According to a statement of probable cause, a North Park Police officer witnessed a Ford Mustang driving southbound on US-91 in North Logan around 4:20 a.m. The car was travelling over 100 mph.
When the officer attempted a traffic stop, the vehicle accelerated even faster and began travelling in the median lane, allegedly trying to evade police.
Law enforcement terminated the pursuit a short time after, due to road conditions.
Several minutes later, police were alerted to a vehicle crash that had just occurred near 2400 W. 3400 North. The same Ford Mustang had driven into a field before coming to a stop.
Police reported five occupants in the car at the time of the crash. The driver however, later identified as Banta, had fled the scene, according to the arrest affidavit.
The four passengers were transported to the hospital for medical treatment. One was later flown to a higher care facility due to critical injuries, law enforcement stated.
Police set up a perimeter around the crash. They later found Banta, hiding inside a barn several blocks to the south. At the time of contact, he reportedly “smelled of alcohol and exhibited signs of impairment,” the PC statement read.
The other occupants told police that Banta was driving the Mustang when the crash occurred. They also said he had been drinking heavily.
When officers searched the car, they reportedly found a firearm on the floorboard, near the driver’s side. They also located an open can of beer.
Police report Banta’s driver’s license had been suspended for prior DUI offences. While being booked, he tested positive for alcohol.
According to jail records, Banta was booked on 10 offenses, ranging from failing to stop at the command of police to driving under the influence. He remains in jail, being held without bail, pending arraignment on formal charges in Logan’s 1st District Court.
Individuals arrested and charged in complaints are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.