La PINE, Ore. (KTVZ) – A driver who turned off his headlights in an apparent attempt to avoid detection was pursued and arrested on several charges Sunday night after running off an icy curve west of La Pine and crashing into a tree, Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies said. Drugs were recovered, and a K-9 team found a gun in the snow near the car.
Shortly before 10 p.m., a deputy patrolling in the area of Sunrise Boulevard and Rainbow Drive spotted a Subaru on Rainbow Drive, traveling “at a high rate of speed for the area,” Lt. William Bailey said in a news release Monday. The deputy then saw the driver turn off its headlights in attempt to avoid detection, Bailey said.
The deputy alerted a fellow deputy in the area, who saw the car pull out onto Sunrise Boulevard in front of him. Bailey said that deputy tried to pull the driver over, but he failed to stop and tried to elude the deputy, heading south on the road at speeds estimated near 40 mph.
As the Subaru entered an icy curve near the intersection of Sunrise Boulevard and Pinetree Drive, it left the road and struck a tree, Bailey said. Deputies conducted a high-risk (guns drawn) stop and took the driver, a 37-year-old La Pine man, into custody.
A search of the driver led deputies to suspect he might have a firearm hidden on him, Bailey said. But the man resisted their efforts to search him further, and he had to be restrained to facilitate a further search.
While a gun was not found on the driver, other evidence found in the car led deputies to suspect he’d had one. K-9 Ezel and partner Deputy Jeremiah Johnson conducted a search near the car and found a small-caliber pistol in the snow nearby that matched the evidence found earlier, Bailey said.
Deputies also recovered more than 10 grams of methamphetamine and evidence of meth manufacture and delivery, the lieutenant added.
The driver was evaluated at the scene by La Pine Fire medics and taken by a deputy to St. Charles Bend for treatment of a minor injury from the crash, Bailey said.
He then was taken to the county jail and booked on charges including felony attempt to elude, reckless driving, reckless endangering, misdemeanor driving with a suspended license, resisting arrest, meth possession, delivery and manufacture, felon in possession of a firearm and tampering with evidence.