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New details revealed in Jefferson Co. chase, crash

By Barney Lerten
Published On: Mar 15 2014 08:01:53 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 18 2014 07:38:44 PM CDT
Chase crash pic SW of Madras

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office

Crash at Bear Drive and the Culver Hwy. SW of Madras late Saturday afternoon followed a roughly 10-minute police pursuit of a federal fugitive, authorities say

MADRAS, Ore. -

A federal fugitive from Warm Springs is recovering from injuries under guard at St. Charles Redmond, accused of fleeing police late last Saturday southwest of Madras at speeds topping 100 mph, trying to ram a patrol car head-on, running a stop sign and striking a pickup truck at an intersection, Jefferson County Sheriff Jim Adkins said Tuesday.

Gonzalo Spencer Arthur, 25, was taken to the Redmond hospital after the crash late Saturday afternoon and arrested by sheriff’s officers at the hospital two days later on a no-bail federal warrant from the FBI in Warm Springs, Adkins said.

The original charges were fleeing/eluding police, failure to appear in court and resisting arrest, he said, adding that sheriff's deputies and Warm Springs police are providing security at the hospital until his release.

A 17-year-old girl in the car with him, a reported runaway, was first taken to St. Charles Madras and then flown to St. Charles Bend with minor injuries, the sheriff said.

The girl, who Adkins did not identify, later was released from the hospital and arrested by Madras police on unrelated charges. The teen was taken to the Jefferson County Juvenile Department in Madras and later lodged at the NORCOR Juvenile Detention Center in The Dalles.

The red 1995 Honda Civic driven by Arthur laid down long skid marks at the intersection before striking a white 1999 Ford F-250 pickup carrying two local people, who were treated for injuries at the Madras hospital and released, according to the sheriff.

Arthur absconded from parole last year after he was released pending trial on charges he tried to elude police in Warm Springs on Jan. 9, 2013, according to federal prosecutors.

Oregon State Police also were investigating the 10- to 12-minute chase and crash.

“Where we’re fortunate is nobody got killed,” Adkins said Sunday.

A deputy had tried to pull over a red car believed to contain fugitive Tyler Fuller, 24, who eluded police in a manhunt on the ground and in the air west of Madras early last week, Adkins said.

The pursuit began shortly before 5 p.m. near the intersection of Bear Drive and Highway 361 (the Culver Highway) – and that’s where it ended, after the driver reportedly avoided “spike strips” and turned his car around.

“He tried to ram my (deputy’s oncoming) patrol car,” Adkins said.

Arthur, heading south on Bear Drive, ran a stop sign and “T-boned” the eastbound pickup truck, Adkins said.

The sheriff said the car’s driver left “a whole bunch of skid marks” at the intersection.

“I’m just thanking God nobody was killed or seriously hurt,” Adkins said. “If he would have made it through that intersection, he probably would have continued south (onto) Highway 97.”

Numerous police converged on the scene to investigate what happened as a search warrant was sought for the man’s car, to look for drugs or other evidence. The intersection was shut for hours, with detours put in place.

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