High speed chase through Newport and points south ended without injury – but the three bad-guys got away
Sunday afternoon 9-1-1 dispatch broadcasted an attempt to locate a vehicle which was stolen from a Lincoln City family– a gray 2003 Ford F-250. The vehicle was reported to have a white laundry machine in the back of the truck.
At 2:53 PM, Sgt. Dunteman located the vehicle driving southbound on Highway 101 near Best Western Agate Beach in Newport. Sgt. Dunteman radioed nearby Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and Newport Police Department officers. Deputies attempted to stop the vehicle as it turned onto NW 25th St. and into Walmart. The fleeing vehicle did a loop through the Walmart parking lot and then led deputies and officers on a pursuit southbound through Newport.
At the time, deputies did not realize there was another stolen vehicle trailing at a distance behind the first vehicle. The second vehicle was a dark blue 2000 Ford F-250 reported stolen out of Salem on September 18th.
Deputy Tugwell set Stop Sticks at the intersection of Highway 101 at Olive St in Newport. The dark blue F-250, which was the primary eluding vehicle, hit the Stop Sticks which disabled the vehicle shortly thereafter. The gray F-250 avoided the Stop Sticks and both vehicles continued South. Several Newport Police Officers and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputies were involved in the pursuit.
Both stolen vehicles crossed the Yaquina Bay Bridge at high rates of speed. NPD Officers came upon the dark blue F-250 stopped and abandoned in the middle of South Coast Highway next to Newport Toyota. The dark blue F-250 sustained front driver side tire damage due to Stop Stick deployment, rendering it inoperable. But the driver of the disabled dark blue F-250 was picked up by the gray F-250 which continued South on South Coast Highway at speeds ranging from 80-100 MPH.
NPD officers who remained on scene with the dark blue F-250 advised there was a copious amount of ammunition inside and warned pursuing units that the suspect(s) may be armed. The pursuit continued South on Highway 101 where NPD units terminated the pursuit due to excessive speed and reckless driving into oncoming traffic. At that time, there was moderate to heavy traffic flowing both directions through South Beach.
After NPD terminated their pursuit, LCSO continued the pursuit southbound through South Beach. The gray F-250 was passing southbound traffic at approximately 80-100 MPH in the oncoming lanes causing both directions of traffic to take evasive maneuvers to avoid a crash.
After leaving Newport (South Beach) city limits, traffic lightened up and speeds remained at approximately 90-100 MPH as the pursuit continued into the Ona Beach curves near North Beaver Creek Road in Seal Rock.
Through Seal Rock, the gray F-250’s reckless driving became even more so reckless, as the vehicle began swerving side to side across both southbound and northbound lanes of travel.
LCSO elected to terminate the pursuit after passing NW Spruce Pointe Lane, North of Beachside State Park in Seal Rock, in hopes it would reduce the threat of serious injury or death to the motoring public due to the driver’s recklessness.
In total, the pursuit lead Lincoln County law enforcement on a 13.2 mile pursuit. It was apparent that the driver was being negligent and reckless with an extreme indifference to human life for himself, his passengers, and the motoring public. Officers backed off. Officers soon lost sight of the gray F-250 after it passed Beachside State Park.
Law enforcement had observed three suspects in the gray F-250 including the driver from the previously dumped disabled dark blue F-250. None of the suspects were identified and all three are still missing.
Deputies were notified by citizens in the Waldport area that the gray F-250 continued driving recklessly and at high speeds through Waldport and onto Highway 34 eastbound. Deputies patrolled Highway 34 and spoke with numerous motorists and pedestrians who saw the gray F-250 speeding along the highway.
At 3:50 PM, Sgt. Dunteman located the stolen gray F-250 parked and unoccupied at Don Lindley Park – 6977 E Alsea Highway. A few fishermen saw three occupants flee on foot into the park. By that time, there was a 30-minute delay according to the fishermen.
The owners of the gray F-250 were contacted and reunited with their vehicle, which was fortunately still drivable, although with considerably less fuel in the tank. The owners of the dark blue F-250 were contacted as well.
Anyone having any information on the three thieves can call: Sgt. Jack Dunteman, 541.270-1859, and by e-mail: JDunteman@Co.Lincoln.Or.US