A 91-year old Washington man was arrested Thursday afternoon after attempting to elude and failing to stop for Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers between Biggs Junction and The Dalles. The incident came to an end after police successfully deployed spike strips and the man pulled into the OSP The Dalles office parking lot where he was arrested without further incident.
On Thursday at approximately 5:30 p.m., an investigation was in progress at the scene of an officer-involved shooting that closed both directions of Interstate 84 between Biggs Junction and Rufus. OSP troopers encountered a vehicle traveling eastbound in the closed section approaching the investigation scene. The vehicle was contacted by troopers and its driver was told to turn back to Biggs Junction. Troopers followed the vehicle westbound in the eastbound lanes but it didn’t exit at Biggs Junction and continued westbound, passed ODOT temporary barriers and into an extensive traffic back up.
Eastbound vehicles were pulling out of the way to avoid the oncoming 2001 Chevrolet Blazer until it crossed the center dirt median into the westbound lanes. As an OSP patrol unit got alongside the Chevrolet, it steered into the OSP patrol car striking its side and disabling it from continuing.
Additional OSP units got into position but the vehicle continued westbound in the westbound lanes failing to yield at speeds up to 80 mph.
OSP and The Dalles Police Department deployed spike strips successfully hitting 3 tires. The Chevrolet continued westbound as speeds slowed while tires shredded. It took exit 87 and then headed eastbound toward the OSP The Dalles Area Command office where it stopped in the front parking lot.
The vehicle’s driver, MARSEILL WILLIAM GUNNYON, age 91, was arrested without further incident. He was lodged in the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility (NORCOR) in The Dalles for Felony Attempt to Elude in a Vehicle, Reckless Driving, and Misdemeanor Hit & Run. There was no evidence of intoxication and he has valid driver’s license.
No explanation was given of why the elderly man refused to comply with trooper orders.