Deputies: Driver charged after wrong-way pursuit through Brevard County

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — A Melbourne man was taken to the hospital Monday night after deputies say he crashed while leading them on a chase through Brevard County.


Deputies were first alerted Monday evening by a “concerned citizen” who called to report a truck that was traveling northbound in the southbound lanes of U.S. 1 near Barefoot Bay.

According to the sheriff’s office, the driver nearly struck at least one civilian and three deputies who were responding to the call as he continued driving the wrong way on U.S. 1.

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Due to the danger the driver posed to other motorists on the road, deputies say they decided to try to stop him “before an innocent citizen got injured or worse from the driver’s reckless actions.”

Deputies say the driver, later identified as 37-year-old Kyle Lahanse, continued driving northbound in the southbound lanes of U.S. 1 even as deputies attempted to stop him.

According to the sheriff’s office, the pursuing deputies unsuccessfully deployed a set of stop sticks near the intersection of  U.S. 1 and State Road 192.

Deputies say Lahanse continued  northbound in the wrong lane through the city of Melbourne where police assisted in shutting down the crossing intersections to prevent the “maniac driver” from causing a serious crash.

Even after moving into the correct lanes of travel, deputies say Lahanse continued driving erratically, repeatedly swerving across all lanes of traffic and occasionally moving back into oncoming traffic.

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Deputies say a second set of stop sticks deployed just north of Pineda Causeway successfully deflated the front passenger-side tire of the truck, but Lahanse was still able to continue driving.

Deputies deployed a third set of stop sticks in the area of U.S. 1 and Suntree Blvd., puncturing the truck’s rear passenger-side tire and causing Lahanse to lose control of the truck.

Deputies say Lahanse continued into the grass median before his truck rolled over several times, ejecting him from it.

Deputies rendered aid to Lahanse on the scene before Brevard County Fire Rescue personnel arrived and took him to a nearby hospital in critical condition.

According to the sheriff’s office, Lahanse has since stabilized, but faces a long list of charges once he’s released, including reckless driving and aggravated fleeing and attempting to elude. Deputies say charges for driving under the influence could also be added pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation.

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“This guy put so many lives at risk, including his own, all because of his irresponsible and immature actions,” Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said in a statement announcing the arrest. “Thank you to all of our deputies that were involved in this apprehension, as well as our great partners at Melbourne PD. Without the quick actions taken by each of you, there is no question that innocent civilians would have been harmed by this individual’s reckless and selfish actions.

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