Soldotna Man Saved from the Elements after Fleeing from Troopers near Sprit lake

A Soldotna man barely escaped death at the hands of the elements after fleeing Alaska State Troopers who had attempted to pull him over on a traffic stop on the Kenai Spur Highway late Thursday night.

Troopers attempted to pull over a driver for moving violations on the Kenai Spur Highway near Beaver Loop at 11:05 pm on Thursday only to have the driver, later identified as 24-year-old John Q. Wilson speed away taking the officers on a vehicle chase.

Wilson would evade AST for several miles before he got his vehicle stuck near Spirit Lake on a four-wheel-drive trail. After getting stuck, he abandoned the vehicle and fled into the heavily wooded area nearby.

Soldotna and Kenai Police assisted troopers in attempting to locate the fleeing Wilson for over an hour with no success. Temperatures continued to drop to below 20 degrees as the night progressed. Five hours later, Wilson was located approximately about a quarter-mile from where he had fled.

When found, Wilson was suffering from severe frostbite to his extremities, AST said. It was also reported that he was no longer able to walk and so had to be carried through the woods for approximately an eighth of a mile.

He was transported to the Central Peninsula Hospital for treatment of his bout with exposure to the elements.

Troopers said, “Wilson was issued misdemeanor citations for driving while under the influence of controlled substances, driving while license revoked, second degree fail to stop at the direction of a police officer, and violating condition of release as he was on release conditions for a previous DUI charge.”

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