SPOKANE, Wash. — One person is in custody after a chase on Interstate 90 that ended with a crash in downtown Spokane on Thursday evening.
Spokane County Sheriff's Cpl. Mark Gregory said deputies were called to the area of Havana Street and Sprague Avenue for a call about a man and woman who appear to be doing meth in a parking lot in a black sedan.
When deputies arrived, they saw a black Volkswagon Passat parked in the furthest available parking spot. The driver, later identified as Traci Abern, 33, and a male passenger, were observed in the vehicle and appeared to be asleep or passed out, Gregory said.
Deputies saw a large amount of drug paraphernalia when they approached the car, according to Gregory. Abern was unconscious and holding a syringe containing a brown liquid, deputies said. She also had a thick blue rubber band tied tightly around the top of her left bicep, according to deputies.
Deputies said 'sheriff's office' loudly and woke up the couple. According to Gregory, Abern looked over her shoulder, made eye contact with the deputy, untied the rubber band, started reaching around, ignoring the deputy's commands and started the car.
Gregory said Abern put the car in reverse, swing the front end of the car around, almost hitting the deputy. Abern then put the car in drive and speed up while appearing to intentionally steer toward the deputy, who quickly move to avoid being hit, according to Gregory.
Abern fled east on Sprague and go on Interstate 90 westbound from Fancher, according to deputies. She took the North Division Street exit, hit and SUV and squeezed between two other cars stopped at a red light, Gregory said. He said she hit one of the cars and narrowly missed a pedestrian in the crosswalk.
Abern then got a flat tire and almost lost control of the car as she made a quick left on Second Avenue from Division, according to Gregory. The deputy initiated a PIT maneuver to stop Abern.
Abern slammed on her brakes as the deputy was getting into position and the car collided, according to to Gregory. He said Abern attempted to steer out of the PIT and drove into a parked SUV.
Gregory said Abern and the passenger initally failed to comply with commands but were eventually taken into custody.
The passenger was not charged with a crime but complained of back pain. He and Abern were transported to the hospital to be evaluated.
Abern told deputies she ran because she was scared and didn't want to lose her kids, Gregory said. He said she also apologized and said she would never intentionally try to hurt a cop. She also told deputies she did not remember colliding with other motorists.
A search warrant was obtained to collect a blood sample from Abern. According to Gregory, Abern said, "I'm probably gonna test positive for meth and heroin."
Abern was booked into the Spokane County Jail for second degree assault, attempting to elude a police vehicle and DUI.
A sheriff's deputy was involved in a crash with a civilian at Sprague and Havana on his way to help with the chase. The civilian has minor injuries and it's unclear who was at fault, Gregory said.