High-speed chase from Bellingham airport to Burlington ends in head-on crash


BELLINGHAM - A police pursuit from Bellingham to Skagit County topped speeds of 100 mph before ending in a head-on crash on a freeway off-ramp early Tuesday, May 13.

Trooper Brandon Lee, of the Washington State Patrol, heard a radio broadcast around 4 a.m. to be on the lookout for a silver Ford Mustang because the driver, a 41-year-old man, had broken out a window at an ex-girlfriend's home in west Bellingham. The man, identified as Terry L. Davis, was wanted for domestic violence by Whatcom County Sheriff's deputies.

Moments later, as Lee pulled out from the state patrol station by Bellingham International Airport to help look, he spotted a silver Mustang on West Bakerview Road. Lee tailed the car and pulled it over when the driver didn't use his blinker at a left turn onto Bennett Drive.

The plates matched the wanted man's car, so a sheriff's deputy helped with the traffic stop. Eventually the deputy asked Davis to step outside the vehicle, Lee said.

According to state patrol, Davis replied with something to the effect of, "Why should I step out? So you can arrest me?"

He fired up the engine and sped off, Lee said. The Mustang turned west onto Bakerview, then drove over a strip of grass to pull a U-turn and whip around onto southbound Interstate 5.

A Bellingham police officer joined in the chase with Lee and the sheriff's deputy. They chased the car at triple-digit speeds for 27 miles to Cook Road, where officers had set up spike strips.

But the Mustang missed the strips, then exited I-5 another mile to the south, at Chuckanut Drive in Burlington. Davis' car crossed over a short concrete barrier, on the tight curve of the two-way interchange, and barreled head-on into the left side of a 2014 Ford Fusion driven by Rodney Schreib, 48, according to the state patrol.

Both men needed treatment at a local hospital, but their injuries weren't life-threatening.

Troopers booked Davis into Skagit County Jail on suspicion of felony eluding of police and driving under the influence. Troopers got a warrant for a sample of Davis' blood to test for intoxicants.

The '02 Ford Mustang - now impounded at the state patrol's yard in Burlington, mere feet from the scene of the crash - had been registered to someone else with the last name Davis in Spokane.

Reach Caleb Hutton at caleb.hutton@bellinghamherald.com or 360-715-2276. Read his Dispatcher blog at bellinghamherald.com/dispatcher-blog or get updates on Twitter at @bhamcrime.

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