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Driver dodges police pursuit before crashing

Photo: Metro Creative

Authorities are investigating after a driver allegedly slipped away from a high-speed police pursuit before crashing into the Hamlet Quick Stop store on Highway 53.

At around 8:45 p.m. on Friday, March 8, Seaside Police Department alleges officers tried to stop a driver for reckless driving when the driver began to elude the officer. The pursuit traveled south along Highway 101 to the Highway 26 junction, where the fleeing suspect began driving east on Highway 26, police said.

Police terminated the pursuit after a couple of miles on Highway 26, reportedly shutting down the lights and siren in part due to the allegedly reckless driving displayed by the suspect, who was accused of taking the oncoming lane of traffic numerous times while passing vehicles and traveling between 60 and 80 mph.

The pursuing officer continued to follow the suspect’s eastbound path on Highway 26, but lost sight of the vehicle after a number of miles. The officer passed the Highway 26-Highway 53 junction, continuing east as far as Saddle Mountain Road before turning around on the report of a single-vehicle crash at the Hamlet Quick Stop store at Highway 53 junction.

Police said the vehicle involved in the crash was the suspect vehicle that had eluded the officer, adding that the driver hit the store due to alleged reckless driving.

The driver required extraction from the vehicle by emergency rescue crews, reportedly sustaining serious injuries and being taken to Columbia Memorial Hospital, then moved to a Portland-area hospital.

Police have not identified the driver, who has not yet been arrested, according to a statement from the City of Seaside. An investigation of felony eluding of a police officer and reckless driving was ongoing. The case will be forwarded to the Clatsop County District Attorney’s Office for review of charges, according the City of Seaside’s statement.

If you witnessed any part of this incident, the Seaside Police Department would like to hear from you. Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Seaside Police Department Detective Unit at (503) 738-6311.