Crime, News, Traffic

Washington County deputies use spike strips, PIT maneuver in Banks to stop driver

Deputies with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office stopped a vehicle with the aid of spike strips early Friday morning, according to a press release from the law enforcement agency.

At 2:28 a.m. Friday, deputies responded to an Astoria Police Department request for aid after a driver had eluded authorities there, taking off after they had attempted to stop a reckless driver.

According to a press release, Astoria police attempted to stop a silver 2004 BMW for a traffic violation. The driver did not stop, instead heading toward the city of Warrenton. Warrenton Police then spotted the vehicle, “driving recklessly at 120 mph,” according to the sheriff’s office.

It was last seen headed east on Highway 26 south of Seaside.

From there, the vehicle traveled east, passing through a number of unincorporated communities before police located it near the Highway 26 and 47 junction.

“Deputies got behind the BMW, and the driver took off again at a high speed,” the press release read.

Ahead of the chase, deputies used spike strips, which punctured the vehicle’s tires in a successful deployment, slowing the BMW.

The driver continued—on flat tires—into Banks.

“Deputies used a pursuit intervention technique (PIT) to stop the BMW before pinning it in with patrol cars,” the agency said. A photo showed the vehicle pinned directly in front of the In-N-Out market on Main Street in Banks.

As deputies were attempting to arrest the driver, later identified as Joshua Sckeetz, 30, of Vancouver, he began to ingest a substance believed to be a powdered form of fentanyl.

Which, according to police, he chased down with Mountain Dew. Police did not specify if it was regular Mountain Dew or one of many popular variants like Mountain Dew Code Red™.

Sckeetz was transported to an area hospital by ambulance.

Sckeetz was released from the hospital and lodged in the Washington County Jail on a slew of charges, including, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, felon in possession of a restricted weapon, recklessly endangering another person (two counts), reckless driving, two warrants out of Clark County, and a Beaverton Municipal Court warrant.

Photo: an example image of Mountain Dew. Photo by Evenezer Marak on Unsplash

One passenger, Savannah Lalonde, 30, was also jailed on an outstanding warrant from Skamania County, Washington. Another passenger was released at the scene after what must have been quite a road trip.

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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