A 12-mile and half-hour vehicle pursuit from Sonora to Tuolumne ended late Thursday night when an allegedly intoxicated 22-year-old crashed his pickup truck into a Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office patrol car.
The chase began when the driver nearly rammed a patrol car operated by a Sonora Police sergeant, said Sonora Police Chief Turu VanderWiel.
After he sped up to speeds between 50 to 70 miles per hour on Tuolumne Road, the man drove on dirt roads through the woods to evade law enforcement and reach his house, Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Andrea Benson said.
Two hours after being arrested, the man’s BAC was recorded as .097 by a breath test, Benson added.
VanderWiel said at about 11 p.m., a Sonora officer watched a red 1991 Toyota pickup truck do a burnout at the intersection of South Washington Street and Stockton Road.
The driver truck did not stop for the officer and drove through Sonora. On Morningstar Drive, the driver blacked-out the car. The vehicle was spotted and as the driver fled again, he almost hit the patrol car, VanderWiel said.
When the driver left city jurisdiction on Tuolumne Road about 15 minutes later, the pursuit was turned over to the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office and the California Highway Patrol.
During the pursuit the driver drove through stop signs and in the opposing lane of traffic, Benson said. He drove off the road past a water tower and Tuolumne Rancheria property in the direction of his home on Hani Drive, she said.
When he reached his street he crashed head-on into a Sheriff’s patrol vehicle that entered the pursuit at Mono Way and Tuolumne Road.
Benson said the deputy sustained minor injuries.
The front end of the patrol vehicle was damaged, she said.
Chance Bailey was arrested near his home on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer and evading a peace officer with wanton disregard for safety.
His bail was set at $50,000. As of Friday afternoon, he remained in the custody of the Tuolumne County Jail.
He was not injured in the crash, Benson said. Injuries sustained on his face in his booking photo occured when he head-butted the windows and cage in the back of a patrol vehicle. He was restrained to prevent further injury, Benson said.
A female passenger was not injured, nor was she charged, Benson said, adding she asked Bailey to stop several times, but did not.
Bailey was arrested at 11:38 p.m. Thursday and his BAC test was taken at the jail at 2:21 a.m. the next morning.
A California Highway Patrol Officer said they planned to prepare a supplemental report requesting Bailey be charged with driving under the influence.
VanderWiel said the department would seeka additional felony and misdemeanor charges against Bailey.
According to Sonora Police Department logs, a complaint was filed for prosecution of reckless evading, evading a peace officer, resisting an executive officer, attempted assault with a deadly weapon, exhibition of speed, a registration violation and other infractions.