Man accused of kidnapping Orem woman, fleeing troopers, causing crash booked into Washington County Jail

Luis Carlos Martinez-Ramirez. Photo: Washington County; Utah Highway Patrol

ST. GEORGE, Utah, May 10, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — A man is in custody after Utah Highway Patrol officials say he fled deputies and crashed into a tanker Wednesday afternoon on Interstate 15 in Washington County.

Troopers based in St. George say dispatch operators told them that another I-15 driver said a female passenger in a black Tahoe was waving frantically, seemingly signaling that she needed help.

Troopers responded, according to a Utah Highway Patrol report, and located the suspicious vehicle near milepost 21 of southbound I-15. Two other Troopers took positions at Exit 16 and Exit 13.

The first trooper tried to make a traffic stop, and the Tahoe fled, with more troopers and St. George Police officials joining in the chase.

Just north of Exit 4, the suspect struck the left side of a semi loaded with rocks, which had pulled out in front of the Tahoe.

The suspect was arrested. The female passenger said she was the estranged wife of suspect Luis Carlos Martinez-Ramirez, age 36, and had been kidnapped by him.

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The woman suffered minor injuries, but refused assistance. An infant in the car, secured in a baby carseat, was uninjured.

The woman said she lives in Orem and her estranged husband lives in Bakersfield, Calif. He picked the family up for a drive, she said, then drove south and refused to let her out.

Martinez-Ramirez is in custody in the Washington County Jail.

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