Ferndale man hospitalized after high-speed chase in north Whatcom County

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDAugust 27, 2013 

LYNDEN — A Ferndale man was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for treatment of serious injuries after he rolled his truck during a high-speed chase with Lynden police officers early Tuesday, Aug. 27.

Around 4:20 a.m. Tuesday, a Lynden officer saw a blue 1997 Chevy pickup with expired tabs driving north on Guide Meridian, said Lynden Police Chief Jack Foster. There are no shoulders in that area, so the officer waited to pull the vehicle over until the driver turned onto East Badger Road.

The driver, Chase A. Newman, 27, of Ferndale, pulled over and stopped, but took off once the officer got out of his patrol car, Foster said.

The officer followed and estimated the truck reached speeds of 80 mph, Foster said. Because of driving conditions, the officer called off the chase and stopped pursuing the truck, Foster said. The speed limit on E. Badger is 45 mph in Lynden city limits and 55 in the county.

A Sumas police officer returning from Whatcom County Jail was in the area and laid spike strips where Van Buren and East Badger roads intersect. The truck went over the strips, puncturing at least one tire, but the driver continued on at high speeds, Foster said.

Newman kept driving for about two miles before losing control, shearing off a railroad crossing pole at Garrison Road and flipping his vehicle over the guardrail, landing upside down, Foster said. Border Patrol officers and aide from Whatcom County Fire District No. 1 helped pull Newman from the truck, which then caught fire and needed to be extinguished, Foster said.

Newman likely suffered a crushed pelvis and crushed femur, said Trooper Mark Francis for Washington State Patrol. As of Tuesday afternoon, he was in serious condition in Harborview's intensive care unit.

Drugs or alcohol are believed to have been a factor in the crash, Francis said. Troopers performed a blood test around 8 a.m. at St. Joseph hospital before Newman was airlifted, Francis said.

Washington State Patrol is investigating the accident, and charges are pending.

The crash closed portions of East Badger Road until about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

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