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Bozeman woman recounts how high-speed chase ended in her yard

By Lauren Maschmedt, KTVM Anchor, lmaschmedt@ktvm.com
Published On: Apr 25 2013 07:10:25 PM MDT
Updated On: Apr 25 2013 09:54:43 PM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Bozeman resident Shelley Ping was in for a surprise when stepped out in her backyard on Wednesday.

"And that fence broke, it just broke just like, poof!" she said, about what she witnessed.

She said she saw a truck come out of nowhere, through a fence -- nearly ending up in her yard.

"(The truck) just kind of ricocheted down off the ditch, and that's where she ended up," Ping said.

What she was seeing was the end of a high-speed chase.

She said not 30 minutes before that, she and her mom were driving home from the grocery store, and saw police racing after the truck.

"She got more dramatic and almost hit a lot of people," Ping said, describing the scene on Huffine Lane.

Police said they called off the pursuit for safety reasons. The suspect, Brandi Hodgin of Billings, allegedly drove down Gallatin Canyon, but then turned back because the road was closed. Authorities threw down stop sticks on Huffine near Ping's neighborhood.

Officers said after Hodgin hit the stop sticks, she drove off the road and down a creek bed. She ended up driving through the fence and came to a stop right next to Ping's house.

"I can't believe I saw it all," Ping said.

She said she saw the woman get out of the truck and run.

"She came around the corner. I didn't see when they took her down, but I was telling them, 'That way,'" she said.

Ping told NBC Montana it was shocking to see, and she's glad she and her cats weren't hurt in the ordeal.

27-year-old Hodgin faces felony charges for endangering Ping's life and the lives of many drivers during the chase. Police also charged her with felony forgery and felony theft.

Court documents state Hodgin was in a stolen truck, trying to cash checks she allegedly took from cars in Bozeman. When police tried to pull her over at a bank, that's when they said she fled.

Thursday morning a judge set Hodgin's bail at $100,000.