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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Multiple agencies pursue vehicle in high speed chase through Spokane, Cheney; suspects arrested after crash

Christopher McNeill, 23, appears in Spokane County Superior Court on Friday. McNeill and an unnamed passenger were arrested after a high-speed chase that took them from Idaho through Spokane and Cheney before they crashed. Multiple agencies from both states were involved in the chase and apprehension. (Will Campbell / The Spokesman-Review)

A Washington State Patrol trooper was injured during a high-speed chase that began in Idaho and ended with a crash in Cheney early Friday morning.

Speeds hit 108 miles per hour during the pursuit and, at one point, the chase coursed through downtown Spokane, according to a news release from Washington State Patrol.

Christopher McNeill, 23, of Clarkston, is alleged to have stolen the car, and police suspect he was drunk or high on drugs.

He appeared in Spokane County Superior Court on Friday, and Judge Michelle Szambelan set his bail at $30,000.

The pursuit started in Lewiston just before midnight, according to the Washington State Patrol. .

The news release and court documents gave this account of the 1 1/2-hour search and pursuit:

McNeill, driving a blue Toyota RAV 4, was first pulled over going 11 miles over the speed limit. The deputy, from Idaho’s Nez Perce County, suspected a DUI. McNeill drove away from the scene, initiating the pursuit.

As the Toyota crossed into Washington, deputies with the Whitman County Sheriff’s Office chased the car, which was driving at speeds above 100 miles per hour, but lost the trail near Rosalia.

Washington State Patrol troopers eventually spotted the car and gave chase, heading north on U.S. Highway 195 near Hatch Road at 108 miles per hour, according to the news release.

Troopers deployed spike strips, but the car evaded them and took the eastbound exit from Highway 195 onto Interstate 90, and then the Hamilton Street exit. The suspect ran multiple red lights and sped at 75 miles per hour in a 35-miles-per-hour zone, and troopers temporarily terminated pursuit.

Spokane County Sheriff’s Department deputies then began pursuing the car in downtown Spokane. The suspect returned to Interstate 90, driving the wrong way. The suspect turned around and drove west on I-90, where WSP troopers began the pursuit again. The suspect exited from I-90 to State Route 904 in the direction of Cheney. Troopers again tried to deploy spike strips, but the suspect again evaded them. As the suspect drove into Cheney, WSP again terminated pursuit.

The car sped past Cheney on SR 904, and WSP caught sight of it again. Troopers positioned themselves on SR 904 near the Tyler Interchange with spike strips.

The suspect approached the strips and tried to make a U-turn, but troopers hit the car and blocked an escape. The driver and a passenger, who was not named in the news release, were arrested at 1:34 a.m. Friday.

Troopers found a bag of marijuana on McNeill, and court documents say he smelled of intoxicants and was belligerent. McNeil also allegedly used a racial epithet while encountering one trooper.

One trooper involved in the crash, who was not identified in court documents, was taken to a hospital with neck and back pain. He was treated and released.

The owners of the Toyota RAV 4 are related to McNeill, according to court documents, and said they did not give him permission to take the car. McNeill also took $23 in cash and a credit card, which troopers found during the arrest.

McNeill is being charged with one count of possession of a stolen vehicle, one count of attempting to elude police, one count of reckless endangerment, one count of DUI and one count of operating a vehicle with a suspended license.