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Judge John E. Turner (Ret.)

Woman faces charges after vehicle chase ends in crash

Washington State Patrol officials say that a woman is facing charges after she allegedly stole a taxicab and sped down Interstate 405 with troopers in pursuit. The woman was taken into custody during the late evening hours of Oct. 15 in Renton. The incident started when a man called 911 to report that his taxicab was stolen. He also said that he was on Highway 99, near the 1st Avenue Bridge, following the person driving his taxi.

The 911 dispatchers encouraged the man to stop pursuing the taxi and to file a stolen vehicle report with the Seattle police instead. Then, a state trooper, who was notified of the incident, began pursuing the taxi as it drove northbound on I-405 at SE 8th Street and as it exited and entered the freeway several times. The taxi driver then led the trooper southbound on I-405.

Additional troopers appeared on the freeway to assist with the pursuit. The taxi pulled off the freeway in Renton at the NE Park Drive exit after it drove over a spike strip and wrecked at North 6th Street and Logan Avenue North.

Troopers at the scene said that the female driver refused to exit the taxi and thus they had to break a windoe. When the woman was removed from the vehicle, she reportedly refused to be taken into police custody. Responding officers said they had to employ a stun gun on her so they could place handcuffs on her. Her charges include DUI, resisting arrest and investigation of felony eluding.

People who face drunk driving charges might benefit from contacting an attorney and discussing their options to challenge the allegations. In some cases, an attorney can question whether there was the required reasonable suspicion to make the traffic stop that led to the arrest.

Source: Komo News, "WSP: Woman steals taxi, leads troopers on wild chase down I-405", Oct. 16, 2016

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