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New London, Minn., man charged after fleeing from police, just missing a school bus

WILLMAR -- Brandon Dan Thorson, 21, of New London, made his first court appearance Thursday on a felony charge of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle for allegedly running from a Kandiyohi County sheriff's deputy at speeds reaching 104 mph.

According to the complaint ag-ainst Thorson, he passed two school buses during the Monday af-ternoon pursuit. One of the drivers told investigators that his vehicle would have hit their bus had they not made a quick right-hand turn.

Unconditional bail was set at $10,000. His next appearance is Nov. 21.

Thorson also faces misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and driving after revocation and a petty misdemeanor for speeding.

According to the complaint, the pursuit began around 3:45 p.m. Monday while a deputy was on routine patrol along County Road 9 Northeast and clocked a vehicle going 69 mph in a 55-mph zone. The deputy pursued the car at speeds reaching 104 mph and was unable to catch the vehicle, which passed two school buses in a very dangerous manner.

Both of the drivers were interviewed and confirmed the incidents, with one of the drivers reporting making an immediate turn to avoid colliding with the speeding vehicle.

Another officer suspected Thorson and went to a relative's home to locate him. Thorson was interviewed and allegedly denied driving the vehicle and said it was inoperable, even though the hood of the car was very hot to the touch.

A passenger in the vehicle said that Thorson said he didn't have a valid driver's license during the pursuit and that he could see the red lights of the squad car.

The pursuit lasted for six miles.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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