A high-speed chase originating in Jefferson County, Texas, ended with a crash in Westlake on Monday. Louisiana State Police and a host of other local law enforcement agencies assisted in the pursuit, which reached speeds of 90 miles per hour, Derek Senegal, Troop D public information officer, said.
Crystal Holmes, Jefferson County public information officer, said the incident began at about 11:30 a.m. in Texas when deputies attempted to pull over a 2008 Honda Accord for a traffic violation. The vehicle failed to stop and fled the scene with plates linked to a missing-endangered person case out of Austin, Texas.
During the pursuit, the suspect fled through Orange County, Texas, into Louisiana along Interstate 10. The vehicle travelled erratically through traffic, making sudden u-turns, driving head-on into traffic and causing a major wreck between a passenger vehicle and 18-wheeler on the interstate, Holmes said.
A Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Office unit was also struck in the pursuit through Vinton, Senegal said.
In its final path east, the vehicle exited onto La. 378 in Westlake before crashing on Hollis Road. The single occupant was taken to a local hospital for treatment and will be returned to Jefferson County, Senegal said.
The suspect faces multiple charges in Texas and Louisiana related to the chase and will be questioned by investigators in Austin concerning the missing person case. Neither his name nor mugshot will be released until arraignment.
Spike strips were placed along I-10 in an attempt to apprehend the suspect in the course of the pursuit. Scott Mitchell, a Westlake resident, was in traffic at the time and witnessed the Honda attempting to evade law enforcement.
"He ended up trying to come around my driver side but I was already slowing down," Mitchell said. "They had stop sticks in the road and I couldn't avoid them and I ended up getting the stop sticks on the driver's side."
Lewis Coats, Sulphur Police Chief, said the strips were not removed fast enough in the road causing damage to the truck Mitchell was driving. In response, the city of Sulphur paid for the repairs and tire replacement.
Mitchell voiced high praise for the Sulphur Police Department for the professional way they responded to the incident.
"They were great, very courteous," Mitchell said. "They immediately had the truck pulled over to Chevy for new tires and a front-end alignment."