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Man arrested after hit-and-run DUI crash on busy road

Crime Watch

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IDAHO FALLS — A Shelley man is behind bars after a reported hit-and-run DUI crash in Idaho Falls on Tuesday afternoon.

Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Bryan Lovell says around 4:30 p.m., someone called 911 about the crash near Sunnyside Road and Rollandet Street. The witness said a man, later identified as Kip L. Johnson, 59, hit his vehicle, and then they got into a brief confrontation as the witness unsuccessfully tried to keep Johnson at the scene.

Johnson told the witness he had been drinking and then proceeded to get back into his truck and drove away, according to a sheriff’s office news release. Dispatchers broadcast a description of Johnson’s truck, and deputies spotted him near Sunnyside and Hitt roads.

Deputies tried to stop Johnson, who reportedly pulled onto a sidewalk, but refused to listen to deputies’ commands to get out of his truck. Johnson then drove off again, going into the oncoming lanes of traffic on Sunnyside.

Many deputies arrived in the area, and traffic forced Johnson to stop at the intersection of Ammon and Sunnyside Roads. With Johnson refusing to get out of his truck, deputies physically removed him from the driver’s seat and placed the truck in park.

“At that time, deputies noted Johnson smelled very strongly of an alcoholic beverage as he continued to be uncooperative,” Lovell said in the news release.

Johnson was taken to a local hospital for a blood sample as part of a DUI investigation. He was then booked into the Bonneville County Jail on a felony DUI charge because of previous felony and DUI convictions. Deputies also booked him on misdemeanor resisting, driving without a license and eluding a police officer.

The Idaho Department of Correction lists Johnson on felony probation until 2026 for felony DUI. He was released from prison on a DUI charge in November 2020, according to IDOC.

An initial appearance in court for Johnson is expected Wednesday afternoon.

Truck chase
Deputies with their guns drawn as they order Kip Johnson out of his truck on Sunnyside Road. | Courtesy photo