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Emergency vehicle lights flashing, police car inspecting city, security service

A Stevensville man was charged Thursday with driving an estimated 60 miles per hour in a school zone while attempting to evade police.

Joshua Lee Casterline, 18, appeared before Ravalli County Justice Jennifer Ray on a felony charge of criminal endangerment, and a misdemeanor count of fleeing or eluding a police officer.

According to Deputy County Attorney Bill Lower’s charging affidavit, a Stevensville police officer was working a traffic detail near the Stevensville School campus at about 8:20 a.m. on Wednesday when he saw a pickup truck traveling southbound on Park Avenue. The vehicle was clocked at 25 mph in a 15 mph school zone.

When the officer activated his emergency lights, the truck turned westbound on Fifth Street and sped up, according to the affidavit. The officer sounded his siren and continued the pursuit.

The officer estimated the vehicle was traveling 60 mph in the school zone. He also noted that several students were walking on Fifth Street during the pursuit.

The vehicle allegedly failed to stop at four stop signs, including one where a woman had to take evasive maneuvers to avoid a collision, according to the affidavit.

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The suspect finally stopped at his home on Second Street, where he was arrested.

Casterline was released on his own recognizance with a requirement for pretrial supervision.

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