April 14, 1995 in City

Test Drive Turns Into Pursuit Man Pulls Knife On Salesman, Crashes Stolen Car On I-90

Emi Endo Staff writer

A man who stole a car at knife-point Thursday led police on a high-speed chase before crashing into a barrier on Interstate 90, police said.

Kendal Nickerson, 23, was with a salesman test-driving a Ford Probe about 11 a.m. when he pulled a knife on the salesman, Spokane police said.

Nickerson returned to the used car lot at 2602 E. Sprague and ordered the salesman out of the car.

Police spotted the car about 11:40 a.m. and pursued Nickerson east on I-90. Speeds reached 90 miles per hour, said police spokesman Dick Cottam.

Just east of the Havana Street overpass, the driver lost control of the car as he was trying to weave through traffic, said Sgt. Scott Mullennix. The car hit the barrier, spun around, hit the rail again and stopped.

Nickerson got out of the car armed with a large, double-edged knife.

He surrendered after police ordered him several times to drop the knife.

Nickerson was booked into jail on charges of first-degree robbery, eluding officers and an outstanding warrant for first-degree theft and failure to appear in court, Cottam said.

He was treated at Sacred Heart Medical Center for injuries he suffered when his head hit the windshield.

Police estimated the damage to the car at $4,000 to $5,000.

This is the second time in as many weeks that someone has used force to steal a Ford Probe from a used car lot during a test drive.

On April 5, a woman took a car at gunpoint from a salesman with the Foothills Lincoln Mercury Mazda dealership.

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