Crash, Gales Creek, News

Vehicle chase ends on Gales Creek Road west of Watts

A crash in Cornelius led to a police chase that went through Forest Grove and into the Gales Creek valley Sunday evening, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said.

According to the sheriff’s office, deputies first responded to reports of a crash in the city of Cornelius at N. Adair St. and N. 10th Ave. Sunday at 5:33 p.m.

Editor’s Note:
The initial press release emailed and posted to social media by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office listed the final crash incorrectly as Highway 47 near Anderson Road. Photos from the scene and a subsequent correction by the sheriff’s office place the crash on Gales Creek Road west of the Watts community near Stringtown Road.

Chas Hundley, editor

There, deputies learned that a woman driving a white 2007 Dodge Charger had struck a maroon 1997 Ford F-150 and fled the scene.

“Two deputies were on scene almost immediately,” the sheriff’s office said in a press release. “One of them helped the driver of the Ford, who had minor injuries and was later taken to a hospital by a family member. He was the only person in the Ford,” the sheriff’s office said.

The driver of the Charger, emblazoned with the word “DEMON” spelled out in large blocky lettering, was later identified as Lisa L. Sullivan, 39, of Cornelius.

The first crash in Cornelius. Photo: WCSO
The Dodge Charger after it crashed on Gales Creek Road. Photo: WCSO
The Dodge Charger after it crashed on Gales Creek Road. Photo: WCSO

While one deputy helped the driver of the Ford, the other looked for the Charger. “Witnesses saw the car leave the scene at a high rate of speed going north out of Cornelius,” the sheriff’s office said. “Multiple other 911 calls started coming in, reporting the car passing recklessly at high speeds and driving on one rim.”

One deputy left the scene of the crash and began a pursuit.

Around 5:40 p.m. he started to catch up when he came across a second crash.

According to the sheriff’s office, it’s here that Sullivan hit a 2016 Mercedes sedan at the roundabout located at Highway 47 and NW Verboort Road.

Sullivan once again fled the scene, leaving an woman, the driver and sole occupant of the Mercedes, with minor injuries.

She was aided on the scene by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputy that had been in pursuit, and ultimately took private transport to a hospital.

While the deputy was aiding the injured woman, the chase was picked up by a sergeant with the Forest Grove Police Department.

Spotting the Charger, he attempted to pull it over.

“Sullivan refused,” the sheriff’s office said.

From here, Sullivan left Forest Grove. One eyewitness who contacted the Gales Creek Journal said the pursuit passed their home on Willamina Ave.

The chase entered the Gales Creek valley at speeds of about 80 mph with the Forest Grove officer in pursuit.

Now on Gales Creek Road, which has a posted speed of 50 mph, Sullivan’s pursuers had grown to once again include a Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputy.

At 5:49 p.m., the vehicle chase was at an end.

With the sheriff’s office deputy using a Pursuit Intervention Technique (PIT) maneuver, Sullivan left the roadway, dropping about 25 feet down an embankment into a field west of the historic Watts community.

A vehicle struck by the “Demon” charger on Highway 47. Photo: WCSO

View Larger Map

The approximate location of the end of the chase

The chase ended in Sullivan getting tackled by deputies after she refused commands to exit the vehicle and instead tried to flee on foot, the sheriff’s office said.

Tackled and arrested at 5:56 p.m., Sullivan was taken to a hospital to be checked for injuries. Upon her release, she’s expected to be lodged at the Washington County Jail on these charges:

  • Two counts of fleeing or attempting to elude police officer, one felony count for failing to stop her car during the pursuit and one misdemeanor count for trying to flee on foot
  • Two counts of felony failure to perform the duties of a driver to injured persons (hit and run causing injury), one for each crash she caused
  • One count each of reckless driving and recklessly endangering another person, for the danger to the public caused by her actions.

“The Sheriff’s Office wants to thank the Forest Grove Police Department for helping find Ms. Sullivan and safely taking her into custody before anyone else was hurt,” the sheriff’s office said.

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

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