17-Year-Old Lander Boy Charged As Adult For 100 MPH Chase Through Town On July 4

Lander police say Evan Smith, 17, was high on methamphetamine when he allegedly sped through the town at 100 mph, tried to ram a patrol vehicle and crashed into two more cars during the town’s Fourth of July celebration.  

Clair McFarland

July 07, 20233 min read

Lander police 8 25 22
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

A Fremont County prosecutor has charged as an adult the teen who allegedly sped through Lander high on methamphetamine and crashed two vehicles during Fourth of July celebrations.

Evan Smith, 17, now faces multiple felonies and one misdemeanor. Those include aggravated fleeing, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines; felony property destruction, punishable by 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines; aggravated assault, punishable by up to 10 years in prison; and reckless endangering, punishable by up to one year in jail. 

Jumping Onto The Sidewalk

Lander Police Department agents first rushed to intercept Smith as the teen allegedly sped into Lander in a red 2017 Ford Edge just before 2 p.m. Tuesday. A woman sitting in the front seat had called 911, saying Smith was going to crash the car. 

Officers intercepted the car, but it failed to yield and they took chase, reads an affidavit by Lander Police Department Sgt. Trent Maus, filed Wednesday in Lander Circuit Court. 

“Smith … drove speeds measured in excess of 100 miles per hour in residential districts in Lander,” wrote Maus. 

At one point the Ford looked like it “intentionally” swerved into the oncoming lane of travel directly at Maus’ patrol vehicle, the affidavit says. Maus jumped out of his car onto the sidewalk to escape what he believed to be an imminent head-on collision. 

The Ford struck a different car in the parking lot of Lander City Park, the affidavit alleges. 

A Surrender

Officers kept chasing the Ford out of town, where Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers deployed spike strips on Sinks Canyon Road. 

The Ford dodged the spikes by hurtling into a barrow ditch that ran alongside the road, Maus wrote, then crashed. Though the Ford crashed into the barrow ditch, it was still operable and swerved back onto the road. 

But Smith also “intentionally” crashed into a vehicle containing two people, Maus’ initial and amended affidavits allege. The people were not injured seriously, but their 2001 Ford Explorer was rendered inoperable and is possibly totaled.

Smith’s vehicle then “came to a stop” on the road. 

Smith exited the driver’s seat, put his arms in the air and lay down on the pavement, the affidavit says. Maus rushed up to Smith and handcuffed his wrists behind his back.

Some Meth

Authorities drove Smith to the emergency room at SageWest Health Care in Lander for a medical evaluation and a blood test for intoxicants.

“Smith admitted to LPD Officers he was under the influence of methamphetamine,” Maus wrote. 

A portable breath test showed minimal alcohol content well under the legal driving limit at 0.012% breath-alcohol content. 

Fremont County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Tim Hancock, who also happens to be Riverton’s mayor, charged Smith on Wednesday. 

Clair McFarland can be reached at clair@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter