Friday, October 25, 2013/lk
OKANOGAN The Chronicle
Two teenagers were arrested Oct. 24 after allegedly leading officers from several agencies on a high-speed chase from Okanogan to Leahy Junction in Douglas County.
The 15-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy, both of Brewster, were arrested and taken to the Okanogan County Juvenile Center.
The girl was detained on suspicion of possession of a stolen vehicle, attempting to elude a police vehicle, reckless driving and driving without a license. The boy was detained on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle and attempting to elude a police vehicle.
Neither had been charged as of mid-morning Oct. 25. Their names are not yet available.
Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office Undersheriff Joe Somday said vehicle owner Benigno Hernandez, who lives on Max Goehry Road near Brewster, reported at 2:23 p.m. that his newly purchased vehicle had been stolen. His son allegedly took the keys from his mother’s purse.
A little after 9 p.m., Sgt. Gene Davis, who responded to the call, spotted the vehicle on state Highway 20 near South First Avenue in Okanogan. He turned around an attempted to stop the vehicle, which allegedly ran a stop sign and took off south onto U.S. Highway 97.
He pursued the vehicle, with the girl driving, at speeds of up to 105 mph, Somday said. The vehicle allegedly drove down the middle of the road and swerved toward oncoming vehicles, and almost hit an oncoming tractor-trailer.
The pursuit continued onto state Highway 17 north of Brewster and across the Columbia River into Douglas County. From there, the cars traveled southeast to the Leahy Junction area at speeds of 80-105 mph.
By that time, a Douglas County Sheriff’s Office deputy and Washington State Patrol trooper had joined in.
At around 9:40 p.m., near Leahy Junction, the vehicle slowed about 35 mph and the trooper performed a PIT maneuver, which ended the chase, Somday said.
A PIT maneuver is a pursuit tactic in which a pursuing car runs into the fleeing car, forcing it to turn sideways and causing the driver to lose control and stop.
Both Hernandez’s vehicle and the trooper’s patrol vehicle received minor damage. Hernandez’s vehicle was impounded.