Motorcyclist leads police on high-speed chase

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian Breaking News Reporter



A motorcyclist led police from five agencies on a high-speed pursuit that spanned 20 miles Wednesday night, ending in his arrest in Woodland.

Longview police noticed the motorcycle did not have a license plate and attempted to pull over the vehicle in town just minutes after 8 p.m., said Longview Police Sgt. John Reebes.

The rider, later identified as Derek W. Williams, 39, of Ridgefield, allegedly did not stop for the officer, fleeing at speeds in excess of 100 mph and running through several red lights before the officer lost track of him, Reebes said.

Because the motorcycle appeared to be heading for Interstate 5, Longview police asked for assistance from the Washington State Patrol.

A trooper spotted the motorcyclist near Kalama and started following the motorcycle, which was headed south, WSP Trooper Will Finn said.

The trooper did not activate overhead lights, but instead followed the motorcyclist while officers from Woodland Police Department, Kalama Police Department, Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Vancouver Police Department set up a “rolling slowdown” near Woodland, Finn said.

The tactic involved officers turning on their lights, requiring other traffic to slow to a crawl, Finn said.

The motorcyclist was forced to slow down and reportedly put the motorcycle down in a ditch near Woodland before he ran away, Finn said.

A Vancouver police canine officer located the rider and he was taken to the Cowlitz County Jail.

Williams faces a felony charge of attempting to elude police and a charge of obstructing a law enforcement officer.