An elderly man found dead in Lake Coeur d'Alene this morning led police on a wild chase in 2008 that was featured on the cable television show "Most Daring: Senior Smackdown."
A couple walking their dog spotted the body of Ira L. Loudenback about 8:15 a.m. a short distance from the shore of Sanders Beach.
Loudenback was 75 when he was involved in a chase with three police cars in Coeur d'Alene. Police say he rammed several cars during the July 2008 pursuit before finally being pinned by squad cars. At the time, police said Loudenback was drunk, but they now believe he suffered a medical condition.
The chase was featured on the TV show "Most Daring: Senior Smackdown" on the cable channel Tru TV.
In the video, an officer can be heard yelling "Stop your vehicle! Stop your vehicle before you kill somebody." Loudenback is shown driving his 1987 Oldsmobile the wrong way on Ramsey Road, playing chicken with a police cruiser, and ramming a cruiser before, as the very dramatic announcer put it, "squads on three sides crush his vehicle like a vice."
Police used a Taser on Loudenback and dragged him from his car, and the TV announcer promises that the "wave of destruction that whipped through the city" won't soon be forgotten. "Especially because it was 75 years in the making."
Loudenback did not have visible injuries to his body when he was found dead this morning, and police still are investigating, said Sgt. Christie Wood.
Read a story on the chase by clicking the link below.
Police use Taser to stop manFrom staff reports
Publication Date: July 4, 2008
A 75-year-old Coeur d’Alene man was drunk when he rammed several cars during a pursuit Thursday morning before finally being pinned by squad cars, police said.
A police officer was operating radar on U.S. Highway 95 at Cherry Avenue in Coeur d’Alene about 7:40 a.m. when he clocked a vehicle driving 59 mph in a 35 mph zone, Coeur d’Alene Police Department spokeswoman Sgt. Christie Wood said.
The officer began to pursue the suspect as he drove erratically. The suspect, identified as Ira Loudenback,
continued northbound and refused to stop. At one point, he turned into
a parking lot and drove in circles, police said. Another officer
responded to the area, and Loudenback allegedly drove directly at the second officer, forcing him to take evasive action, Wood said.
The driver turned north again, driving the wrong way in the southbound lanes of U.S. 95.
"Vehicles on the roadway pulled over to avoid being struck as the suspect intentionally aimed at them with his vehicle," Wood said in a news release.
Five of those vehicles were struck and damaged.
Loudenback eventually drove into a field behind a church at Hanley Avenue and Ramsey Road and again drove in circles as more officers arrived, Wood said.
"The suspect continued driving in wide circles, flipping off officers as he would try to ram their vehicles," she said.
The chase ended when officers rammed Loudenback’s 1987 Oldsmobile about 50 yards from the intersection of Kathleen Avenue and Ramsey.
Loudenback continued to try to accelerate and escape as officers shouted at him to stop.
One officer hit Loudenback with a Taser, and police removed him from the car.
Four squad cars were damaged and two were knocked out of commission, Wood said.
"I am grateful that no one was hurt, including the suspect," Chief Wayne Longo said in a statement.
Loudenback was taken to Kootenai Medical Center for observation, then booked into Kootenai County Jail on charges of felony eluding, aggravated battery and aggravated assault, Wood said.