Police pursuit ends in fiery crash

Updated:

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. - A police chase that started in the early hours of Friday morning ended with a suspect's vehicle crashing into a police cruiser and sending three people to the hospital.

The chase got started in Mountlake Terrace around 1 a.m. when a Mountlake Terrace officer thought he saw a driver who had warrants for his arrest. The officer initiated a stop, and the driver initially complied. However, when the officer approached the vehicle, a 1990s Jeep SUV, the driver sped off.

A chase ensued through Lynnwood and ended in the Mill Creek area when the suspect slammed into a Mill Creek police cruiser coming to aid in the chase. Police said the suspect's SUV hit the car, vaulted over a curb and rolled before catching fire with two people inside.

Mountlake Terrace Commander Dough Hansen said the pair is lucky they didn't die in the crash or fire.

"The one officer who was following and a Lynnwood officer were able to cut the seat belt from the driver," said Hansen.

Police said they then convinced the female passenger she could unhook her seat belt and get out of the car.

The officer in the cruiser had minor injuries despite being hit hard enough to release the airbag.

Police said the driver of the SUV is a 53-year-old Everett man. Police said he had a suspended license, a history of previous pursuits and at least one arrest on drug charges.

The passenger was a 29-year-old Lake Stevens woman who was treated for minor injuries and released.

Police said that they aren't sure why the driver sped off.

"There are a lot of reasons people don't like the police," Hansen said. "They know perhaps they might have warrants in the system or they believe they might have warrants in the system and they don't want to go to jail at a particular time."

The officer and the female passenger were treated and released. The driver was taken to an Everett hospital where he was being treated for a shoulder injury. When he's released, police plan to book him into the Snohomish County jail on a variety of charges stemming from the pursuit and crash.