High-speed chase roars through downtown Hood River

The early morning hours of May 1 were marked by a high-speed car chase which wound its way through Hood River, engaging local as well as state law enforcement officers.

Daniel Cerda, 26, of Sunnyside, Wash., was later arrested after attempting to elude Oregon State Police troopers and officers from Hood River County Sheriff’s Office and Hood River Police Department on both I-84 and through town.

At approximately 7:52 a.m. an OSP senior trooper stopped a 2009 Nissan Altima four-door displaying Washington license plates eastbound on I-84 near milepost 60 for a speed violation.

As the trooper approached the car, it left eastbound at a high rate of speed. The trooper got back to his patrol car and attempted to overtake the Nissan as it reached speeds near 120 mph before exiting into Hood River where local police briefly tried to get the driver to stop.

According to Det. Matt English, Hood River County Sheriff’s Office public information officer, Cerda entered Hood River streets after leaving I-84 at exit 63.

“He went up Second, took Oak Street westbound to Third, then he went up to State Street, east two blocks, down First Street onto Cascade and then north. He took the Second Street entrance back on to eastbound I-84 again,” said English, who was the officer who pursued Cerda in town during the one-minute, high-speed loop back to the freeway.

Cerda then attempted to elude again at exit 64 off of I-84. City Police Officer Don Cheli was waiting at the end of the exit and the Cerda nearly collided with him. Weaving between other traffic at the intersection, Cerda briefly hesitated, then crossed the intersection to re-enter I-84. English and Cheli were joined by OSP officer Thad Routson and Sheriff’s Office Deputy Rick Princehouse in pursuit.

At exit 69, Cerda attempted another exit then quickly returned to the freeway, where his Nissan proceeded eastbound at high speeds, driving recklessly and passing other vehicles.

Near milepost 76 another OSP trooper deployed spike strips, deflating the right front tire. The Nissan continued for two more miles where it stopped and the driver fled on foot for a short distance before stopping and surrendering.

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