Authorities release additional details on pursuit that shut down freeway in SLO County


The California Highway Patrol released additional details in a police chase that ended near Avila Beach and closed down U.S. Highway 101 Wednesday afternoon.

Investigators say a CHP officer saw a black Lexus GS 350 going at a high rate of speed on U.S. 101 northbound in Santa Maria around 3:10 p.m.

They say the Lexus was traveling at 94 mph when the CHP officer tried to pull over the driver. However, the driver of the Lexus sped up to approximately 125 mph, according to CHP.

The chase ended when the suspect, described as a man from Arkansas but no name given, eventually drove over a set of spike strips which successfully punctured the two front tires of the Lexus followed by a PIT maneuver from one of the officers.

CHP says the suspect rammed two patrol cars injuring one officer who had was be taken to French Hospital. The condition of that officer is unknown but the injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

The suspect was pulled from the Lexus and arrested on multiple counts of assault causing injury, DUI, and resisting arrest.


U.S. Highway 101 northbound just north of San Luis Bay Drive in SLO County was closed Wednesday afternoon due to a police pursuit.

Caltrans issued an alert for the closure and motorists were asked to avoid the area if possible.

The pursuit began just after 3 p.m. in the Santa Maria area after the suspect failed to stop during a traffic stop. The pursuit eventually stopped near Avila Beach and the suspect was taken into custody.

One California Highway Patrol officer was reportedly injured during the pursuit but CHP Dispatch said those injuries do not appear to be major.

No further details were immediately known. Check back for updated information.

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