Driver, passenger injured after high-speed chase, multiple crashes

A Ford City, Pennsylvania man faces a charge of evading a peace officer with wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property, three charges of hit and run and a charge of giving false identification to a peace officer following a high–speed pursuit that let to multiple crashes and sent him and his passenger to the hospital.

Jacob Bracken, 29, and his passenger, Bonnie Walters, 23, also of Ford City, Pennsylvania were transported by ambulance to Banner Lassen Medical Center to be treated for their injuries.

According to a statement from the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office, the pursuit began about 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14 when a Lassen County Sheriff’s deputy initiated a traffic stop on a black Chevy Tahoe for a traffic violation on Highway 395 near Janesville Grade.

Upon contacting the driver and a passenger, the driver told the deputy he did not have a driver’s license or insurance. While the deputy was checking the driver and passenger’s information through dispatch, the vehicle sped away. The deputy pursued the vehicle as it traveled southbound on Highway 395. The vehicle turned north onto County Road A3 and all lighting equipment on the vehicle was turned off in further attempt to evade the deputy. The deputy was still able to see and pursue the vehicle as speeds reached 90 miles-per hour.

The vehicle turned west onto Sunnyside Road, continuing to evade the pursuing deputy. The vehicle made a sudden left turn onto the shoulder and struck a wooden fence causing damage to the fence. Due to the vehicle’s abrupt turn and dust obstructing the deputy’s vision, the deputy’s patrol car collided with the vehicle causing minimal damage. The vehicle reversed off of the shoulder and back onto the road, now facing the deputy’s patrol car.

The deputy, fearing the vehicle was going ram his patrol car, backed up onto the right shoulder. The vehicle accelerated past the deputy, traveling east on Sunnyside Road back toward County Road A3. The vehicle cut across a dirt lot and back onto County Road A3 traveling south. The deputy followed the vehicle as it turned on to Sears Road. Another collision occurred when the driver suddenly slammed on the brakes and the deputy’s patrol car struck the rear of the vehicle.

The vehicle drove away onto the shoulder and struck a utility box causing damage. The vehicle turned around and drove diagonally toward the right side of the patrol car. As the vehicle was passing the patrol car, it collided with the right side, causing damage. The deputy continued to pursue the vehicle as it turned north onto County Road A3. As it approached Carolyn Way, the vehicle lost control, went off the roadway, drove through a fence, collided with a power pole and came to rest in an open field.

The matter has been referred to the Lassen County District Attorney’s Office.

According to the statement, “The Lassen County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the California Highway Patrol for their assistance in this incident.”

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