Driver flees on foot after I-8 crash

PHOTO BY JAMES GILBERT/Yuma Sun

Yuma police officers responded to the desert area behind the Harley Davidson  motorcycle dealership on Gila Ridge Road to assist DPS troopers in apprehending a man who fled on foot from the scene of A two-car collision with injuries on I-8.

Troopers from the Arizona Department of Public Safety arrested a man Wednesday morning who fled on foot from the scene of a two-car collision on Interstate 8 that he allegedly caused during a brief vehicle pursuit.

According to DPS spokesperson Bart Graves, at approximately 9:56 a.m. troopers were issued an attempt to locate (ATL) for a vehicle described as a Honda that was reported traveling westbound on I-8 in speeds in excess of 100 m.p.h.

Graves said that a short time later a trooper spotted the Honda at milepost 15 and attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver refused to pull over. 

The trooper pursued the Honda for several miles to milepost 3, where it was involved in a rear-end type collision with another vehicle that had three occupants, including an elderly woman who was ejected.

The woman, who is believed to have sustained life-threatening injuries, was airlifted from the scene and flown to a Phoenix-area hospital. The two other occupants of the vehicle were transported to Yuma Regional Medical Center.

After the crash, DPS said, the Honda driver, who had a German Shepard with him, ran into the desert area behind the Harley Davidson motorcycle dealership on Gila Ridge Road, prompting troopers to request assistance from the Yuma Police Department.

Yuma police officers responded to the area, and along with troopers, had the suspect in custody by about 10:18 a.m. 

“We had to taser him. When we caught up to him he wouldn’t obey our commands,” Graves said. “He was not carrying any identification and is not cooperating.”

Troopers were able to capture the German Shepard and turned the dog over to YPD’s animal control unit, which is holding it until a relative or family member can come pick it up.

The westbound lanes of Interstate 8 remained closed for several hours following the crash, with traffic being diverted on to Avenue 3E. They were re-opened shortly before 5 p.m.

James Gilbert can be reached at jgilbert@yumasun.com or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.

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