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Paynesville man in jail after damaging RR crossing arm, running from law

LITCHFIELD - A 41-year-old rural Paynesville man is in the Meeker County Jail on multiple charges after he allegedly damaged a BNSF railroad crossing stop arm and fled from the Litchfield Police officer attempting to stop his vehicle on Monday afternoon.

According to a news release from Meeker County Sheriff Jeff Norlin, Brooks Allen Gunderson faces charges for driving while intoxicated, driving after cancellation, fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident and criminal damage to property. 

The incident began around 3:20 p.m. Monday, when the Sheriff's Office received a report that a vehicle had hit the stop arm at the railroad crossing on County Road 1. The stop arm was activated for a slow-moving three-car train. The report included that a white Chevrolet truck with a black topper had left the scene and continued south on County Road 1. The police officer located the vehicle, which had a smashed windshield and other front-end damage.

When the officer attempted to stop the 1999 GMC Yukon, the driver refused to stop, now going north of County Road 1 and then west on County Road 11, at speeds from 40 to 60 mph. The vehicle finally stopped near 592nd Avenue, about two miles west of Litchfield, where deputies and other officers assisted.