An Okanogan man marked his 21st birthday by fleeing police, plunging his car into the Palouse River and going to jail.
Whitman County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Keith Cooper attempted to pull over a 2003 Acura RSX on Stadium Way in Pullman at 2:10 a.m. Saturday for a traffic violation, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release. When Cooper asked the driver, identified as Casey D. Cardenas, to perform a series of sobriety tests, Cardenas put the car in gear and sped down North Grand Avenue, reaching speeds of 70 mph, police said.
The driver then tried to make a right turn onto Whitman Street but lost control of the vehicle, jumped a curb, went through a parking lot and plunged into the river.
Law enforcement and fire personnel rescued Cardenas from the submerged car. He was transported to Pullman Regional Hospital for treatment of minor injuries, then booked into Whitman County Jail.
He faces charges of attempting to elude a police vehicle, a class C felony, and driving under the influence, a gross misdemeanor, the news release said. Other charges may be filed at a later date pending completion of the investigation.
Cardenas turned 21 on Saturday.