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Frazee man accused of high-speed chase, injuring passenger in crash

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A Frazee man made his first appearance Friday in Becker County District Court on a felony charge of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle.

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Douglas William Collins Jr., 22, of 36591 County Highway 36, Frazee, was identified as the driver of a motor vehicle involved in a high-speed chase Thursday morning that went through residential areas of Detroit Lakes.

He is also facing gross misdemeanor counts of criminal vehicular operation-gross bodily harm and second degree driving while intoxicated, as well as one misdemeanor count of driving after license revocation.

According to the criminal complaint, a blue suspect vehicle that had fled from deputies near Vergas earlier that morning was spotted by an officer on West Lake Drive in Detroit Lakes at around 11:07 a.m. Thursday. The officer observed the vehicle turning north onto Summit Avenue and proceeding at a high rate of speed.

When the officer attempted to catch up to the vehicle he was unable to do so, despite traveling at speeds exceeding 50 miles per hour. The vehicle was spotted again near the post office in Detroit Lakes, and the driver refused to stop the vehicle despite the fact that a deputy had activated the siren and flashing lights on his squad car during pursuit.

The ensuing chase exceeded speeds of 65 to 75 miles per hour, according to the complaint. The vehicle was later found stopped on North Street after the driver lost control and the vehicle hit the curb. The driver, identified by passengers in the vehicle as Collins, had fled the scene on foot. One of the passengers in the vehicle was taken by ambulance to the hospital after reporting severe pain in his back because of the accident.

Collins was later found lying on his side in the yard of a house on Central Avenue, where he was reportedly trying to hide beneath a tree branch. As he was being taken into custody, Collins reportedly said, "I was driving."

Officers observed that Collins' speech appeared to be slurred and he had blood shot, watery eyes; a strong odor of alcohol was also coming from him. After he was arrested and taken to jail, the results an Intoxilyzer test administered there showed that his blood alcohol was at .21. His license had also been revoked in March 2011 as the result of an impaired driving incident.

Collins is currently in custody at the Becker County Jail pending his next court appearance, at a July 16 omnibus hearing before District Court Judge Peter Irvine. His bail has been set at $15,000 with conditions, or $30,000 without conditions.

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