Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched Thursday evening to a reported hit and run traffic crash at Ray’s Food Place in Waldport. Witnesses said the suspect vehicle was a red 1996 Chevrolet Blazer and was last seen fleeing the scene. Minutes later, deputies were advised of a second hit and run crash (damage to yard fence) in the 100 block of SW Maple Street involving the same vehicle.
A Sheriff’s Deputy located the vehicle traveling northbound in the southbound lane of travel on Highway 101 and followed it as it turned east onto Highway 34. The vehicle had lost its driver’s side front tire and was traveling on the rim. The deputy initiated a stop on the vehicle by activating his overhead emergency lights and siren but the driver refused to yield. The deputy continued to pursue the vehicle until it came to a stop near the intersection of Highway 34 and Spring Street.
The deputy gave verbal commands to the driver of the vehicle to get on the ground. The driver refused and moved toward the deputy ignoring commands to stay where he was. The deputy deployed a Taser which successfully stopped the driver’s movement and kept him contained on the ground until a second deputy arrived on scene. The driver was taken into custody without further incident by the deputies.
An investigation revealed the driver, identified as 36 year old Waldport resident Anthony Joseph Wright, was driving recklessly in the area of Ray’s Food Place and struck a 1997 gold Honda Accord traveling north on Commercial Street causing it to spin into the ditch.
Wright fled the scene and continued west on Highway 34 to SW Maple Street where he left the road crashing into a picket fence and a utility pole before coming to a stop. Wright then backed out of the yard and continued back out onto Highway 101 and continued to Highway 34 driving on only the front rim until coming to a stop where he was taken into custody.
The victim driver in the first crash was transported to PCH in Newport with what were believed to be minor injuries.