Thursday, April 19, 2012
Beginning close to 8:14 a.m. on April 19, a high- speed chase began on I-84 eastbound with what is reported to include a car ramming another vehicle from behind at milepost 57.
OSP responded and within minutes the suspect vehicle, a Ford F-250 reached speeds of up to 100 mph, driving erratically, at times reportedly just missing colliding with other vehicles on I-84. The vehicle had Washington plates. The registered owner was listed as a Kelso resident, David Clay Jennings, 40, who later was found to have a record of weapons violations and weapons possession.
Spike strips were dropped at mileposts 83 and 85, with the suspects' front left tire taking a hit from the first set at milepost 83.
The suspect continued on at speeds between 95 and 70 mph. OSP was in pursuit with ODOT and local police departments implementing freeway closures.
The spikes began to take their toll and scanner reports indicated Jennings was stopped at milepost 88, with officers preparing to approach.
At approximately 8:42 a.m., an OSP officer on scene reported that the suspect had taken off again, driving on his rim.
Jennings' vehicle returned to speeds topping 70 mph. OSP called for additional back-up from Sherman County Sheriff's to set up a roadblock at Biggs.
Within minutes, Jennings had taken the I-84 eastbound exit 97 off-ramp at Celilo and come to a stop. OSP called for traffic diversion across the bridges at Biggs and The Dalles, closing I-84 in both directions.
At 8:48 a.m., the OSP officer on the scene reported the suspect was still inside the vehicle, which remained running. The officer referred to the suspect as "barricaded in his vehicle."
As officers prepared for an approach to the vehicle, by 9:27 an officer requested an ambulance to stand by on top of exit 97. At 9:40 a.m., OSP officers reported that I-84 would be shut down for an undetermined amount of time.
A follow-up OSP scanner report at 10:53 a.m. reported that Jennings' girlfriend had been reached by cell phone. A stand-off continued with law enforcement for approximately three hours with Jennings remaining in his vehicle until a chemical agent was deployed. After Jennings left the vehicle, he was arrested and then transported to NORCOR. He was charged with multiple counts of reckless driving, hit and run property, reckless endangering and attempting to elude law enforcement. He is being held on a $33,000 bond.