'It was a blur': Driver clocked going 171 mph on NE Minnesota highway


"It's like a rocket on wheels."

That's how Deputy Chief Shawn Padden of the Hermantown Police Department described a vehicle that was going 171 mph, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

The 36-year-old Lakeside man was driving a black 2016 Chevrolet Camaro 1SS on Highway 61 between Duluth and Two Harbors Friday evening, WDAY reports.

"When he went by me it was a blur. You get used to seeing people going 65 or 70 and what that looks like. But I've never seen anything like this. It's like a rocket on wheels at that point," Padden told reporters.

Padden also clocked the vehicle going 148 mph, a post on the department's Facebook page says. He said he had to get his squad car up to 135 mph to get close enough to the driver for him to see his lights and pull him over, the Duluth News Tribune notes.

The deputy chief was working a "Toward Zero Death" enforcement shift when he caught the speeding driver and cited him for misdemeanor careless driving, the Facebook post says. If the driver is found guilty, he could face 90 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, and/or lose his driver's license, according to state law.

Police said cases like this are rare, but the danger drivers put themselves and others in is "extreme," the Facebook post notes.

The Duluth News Tribune says the stretch of Highway 61 is no stranger to speeders – in February a motorist driving a Nissan Sentra was clocked going 137 mph.

In 2004, a motorcyclist was arrested after he was clocked going 205 mph – faster than the state patrol plane – in Wabasha, Minnesota. At that time, police said although no official records are kept, it was probably the fastest ticket ever written in the state.

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