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Patrol cars collide during high speed pursuit

Sat., March 12, 2011, 3:32 p.m.

Two officers were injured and their patrol cars damaged in a high-speed pursuit early Saturday morning.

Spokane Valley Officers Jeffrey Rogers and Jason Karnitz tried to stop a Honda Prelude about 2:30 a.m., but the driver, Jason Edward Cooper, 25, took off at high speeds and ran several stop signs and red lights, said Sgt. Dave Reagan.

During the chase two patrol cars collided. Officers Scott Bonney and Todd Miller may have been going to put down spike strips when they collided in the intersection at Sprague Avenue and Bowdish Road, he said. The cars were significantly damaged, he said, as well as a light pole and fire hydrant. They are the fourth and fifth patrol cars to be involved in collisions in Spokane in the last two weeks.

Bonney was uninjured in the crash but Miller suffered minor cuts from broken glass.

Reagan said the pursuit started near Vista Road and Broadway Avenue and ended in Liberty Lake, where Cooper crashed after reaching 70 mph on tires flattened by spike strips.

The incident marked the fourth and fifth patrol cars in Spokane County to be damaged in two weeks, Reagan said.

Cooper then took off on foot. He ran over the top of an embankment but was caught by Rogers, who hurt his knee during the foot pursuit.

Cooper was booked into Spokane County Jail for vehicular assault, attempting to elude a police vehicle, resisting arrest, and second-degree driving with a suspended license, Reagan said.

A passenger in Cooper’s car got away. Police are asking anyone with information about the passenger’s identity to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

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