Vancouver teen rams 4 police cars after high-speed chase

By Paris Achen and Emily Gillespie

Published:

Updated: July 3, 2014, 9:22 PM

 

A Vancouver teen is accused of ramming at least three law enforcement vehicles Wednesday night after a high-speed chase on Interstate 5.

Austin Sullivan, 17, was arrested on suspicion of felony eluding, four counts of second-degree assault on officers, hit and run, 10 counts of reckless endangerment of highway workers in a construction zone and possession of a stolen vehicle. He’s also a suspect in the theft of two other vehicles, according to court records.

Sullivan appeared Thursday in Clark County Juvenile Court in front of Commissioner Dayann Liebman. She held him in the county Juvenile Detention Center without bail.

He is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges Monday, but his case may be referred to adult court, said Deputy Prosecutor Rick Olson.

A trooper spotted a northbound silver Kia Rio pass him on I-5 near Northeast 78th Street at speeds exceeding 110 mph just after 9 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Washington State Patrol. The vehicle had been involved in a pursuit with a Vancouver police patrol car a few minutes before the trooper spotted the Kia.

The trooper caught up with the Kia just south of the Interstate 205 split while another trooper who was working in a nearby construction zone deployed stop sticks, flattening all four of the Kia’s tires.

The vehicle, however, kept going at about 20 mph, according to court records. A third trooper joined the pursuit and used a driving maneuver to spin the vehicle. The tactic caused the Kia to stop, facing south in the northbound lanes.

Northbound traffic on the freeway had been stopped prior to the maneuver, the State Patrol said.

The vehicle then drove south, ramming into the trooper’s vehicle.

The Vancouver patrol car that had pursued the vehicle earlier in the evening arrived to help in the pursuit and blocked the right lane to prevent the vehicle from fleeing. The Kia, however, rammed into that officer’s car, according to court records. At the same time, another trooper’s vehicle pulled behind the Kia, but the Kia went into reverse and struck it, records said. The Kia once again tried to pull forward, but the Vancouver police officer’s vehicle prevented its escape.

No one was injured in the incident, but Sullivan, the driver and only occupant of the vehicle, was transported as a precaution to Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center before being booked into the juvenile detention center.

Sullivan was identified as a suspect who had stolen a separate vehicle earlier the same day and was also involved in a vehicle theft and pursuit Monday, according to the State Patrol.

At the time of the car chase, Sullivan was wanted on a warrant for failing to appear in court in May on a separate criminal case against him. In that case, he’s accused of crashing a vehicle while intoxicated into a woman’s fence and then grabbing her arm when she went outside to try to get him to turn off the car. He was arrested on suspicion of fourth-degree assault and minor in possession/consumption of alcohol.