Just after 9:00 Monday night, Missoula Police officers responded to the 400 block of North 5th Street. They received a report that a vehicle struck a building in that location and then left the scene. The complainant also reported that the vehicle was driving recklessly and almost hit a pedestrian in the area. According to Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh, the responding officer located the vehicle near the intersection of Orange and Spruce Street and attempted to pull the vehicle over.

“The vehicle failed to yield and the officer began pursuing it around the downtown area before it went eastbound on Pine and Spruce Streets and eventually in to the Rattlesnake,” Welsh said. “It crossed from Reno Drive over to Van Buren and it came back down towards the city. It actually got on the interstate going the wrong way.”

Welsh says the vehicle was traveling eastbound on a westbound lane.

“During that stretch, the suspect vehicle went past four vehicles that were approaching from the opposite direction,” Welsh said. “They had to pull over, yield, or actually drive off on to the shoulder to avoid the suspect vehicle. The vehicle came off the interstate at the intersection of Orange Street and then jumped the roundabout at the bottom of the off-ramp before going back on the on-ramp to the interstate, while driving the wrong direction.”

The man could have put even more people at risk, but Welsh says the driver didn’t make it back on to the interstate.

“Before it reached the top of the ramp, the vehicle slid off the side and over the bank,” Welsh said. “The driver of the vehicle jumped out and attempted to flee on foot, but the officers right behind him were able to catch up and apprehend him. He is identified as Kevin Oquist."

According to the report, Oquist is a Missoula transient and is 29-years-old. He is being held for 11 separate offenses including DUI, felony criminal endangerment, resisting arrest, and reckless driving.

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