Man with Medical Issues Leads Law on 25-Mile Pursuit thru the Pass
The man, whose name was not released, was about 70 years old and he was from the Los Angeles area, CHP Officer Darren Meyer told Patch in a phone interview.
The pursuit began about 12:15 p.m. Jan. 22 when a deputy spotted a white Honda sedan eastbound on Interstate 10 at Oak Valley Parkway, Meyer said.
"He was driving erratically, the deputy thought the driver was DUI," Meyer said. "The deputy tried to make enforcement stop and the the driver kept going."
The motorist was doing 50 to 60 miles per hour the entire time, and weaving a lot, from one lane to another, Meyer said.
"When they got to the 60 split they called the Highway Patrol and turned it over to us," Meyer said. "Units got into position around Sunset and took over from there."
The CHP had multiple units on the ground and a Highway Patrol pilot in an airplane assigned to the pursuit, Meyer said.
"They were using their sirens and flashing red lights to try to get the driver to stop, to no avail," Meyer said.
The motorist kept going at 50 to 60 mph, through Banning, Cabazon, past the turnoff to Highway 111, then Whitewater.
"We had one of our Indio units set up a spike strip at the 62, he drove over it and it flattened numerous tires," Meyer said. "He drove on for another minute or so, pulled to the right shoulder and stopped. Our officers initiated felony stop procedures with guns drawn."
The driver got out of his car and stared at his tires, Meyer said.
"He was oblivious to the officers, kept looking at his flat tires, and they realized it was a medical or mental situation going on," Meyer said. "The officers made a quick arrest and drove him to San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital in Banning."
Staff at the hospital determined the man had numerous medical conditions, which Meyer said he could not disclose.
The man was not charged with any crime and he was eventually turned over to family members at San Gorgonio, Meyer said.
"The DMV definitely will be re-evaluating his drivers license and his competency to drive," Meyer said.
It's about 25 miles from Oak Valley Parkway to Highway 62 east of Whitewater. Some who monitored the pursuit said it started in Calimesa near the Riverside-San Bernardino county line.