Rawlins – A Rawlins resident has died from a self inflicted gunshot after the termination of a vehicle pursuit of a motorcycle yesterday evening. The Wyoming Highway Patrol continues to investigate the incident which led up to the suspect committing suicide along the highway just east of Rawlins.
The incident began when a Trooper witnessed a motorcycle traveling at a high rate of speed through Arlington just after 10:00 p.m. Thursday evening and began to follow the motorcycle as it continued westbound on Interstate 80. The Trooper stopped the motorcyclist approximately 2 miles west of Arlington after clocking it at 90 mph. As the Trooper exited his patrol vehicle the motorcyclist took off westbound on the Interstate and refused to stop.
A second Wyoming Highway Patrol vehicle assisted with the pursuit which continued for 49 miles on the Interstate until the motorcycle exited at the east Sinclair Interchange onto WYO 76. The pursuit continued through Sinclair and for another 5 miles on WYO 76. The pursuit ended when it is believed the motorcycle may have had a mechanical failure or ran out of fuel.
The driver, 29 year-old Chad Nickelson, then fled on foot running parallel with the highway for approximately 200 yards before firing a shot in the air from a .25 caliber handgun. Immediately thereafter Nickelson shot himself in the head firing one shot. Nickelson was pronounced dead at the scene.
The motorcycle which Nickelson was riding, a 2007 Suzuki, was reported as stolen in August of this year to the Colorado Springs, Colorado Police Department. The motorcycle was also displaying a stolen Wyoming motorcycle license plate. At the time of this incident however, Troopers were not aware that the motorcycle was stolen.
No Troopers were injured during the incident.