Crime

He allegedly drove I-5 the wrong way at 95 mph and turned doughnuts in the median

Here’s what the Washington State Patrol does

The Washington State Patrol is the state police agency for Washington.
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The Washington State Patrol is the state police agency for Washington.

A 27-year-old man was arrested Friday, June 28, after he reportedly drove the wrong way on Interstate 5 near Bellis Fair Mall, turned doughnuts in the median and led the Washington State Patrol on a wild, 20-mile chase into Skagit County in a stolen truck that had firearms inside.

Matthew Garrett Fox, whom court documents list as transient, was booked into Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of attempting to elude a police vehicle, DUI, possession of a stolen vehicle and two counts each of possession of a stolen firearm and unlawful possession of a firearm.

“That is a heck of a Friday night,” Trooper Heather Axtman told The Bellingham Herald.

The State Patrol began receiving reports about a dark red Ford F-350 heading southbound on I-5 at approximately 5:46 p.m., Axtman said. Though the car was in the southbound lanes, callers reported previously seeing the truck driving in the northbound lanes, before it crossed over, flipping doughnuts in the median on the way.

A trooper spotted the truck near the Samish Way exit and realized it matched the description of a truck reported stolen in Bellingham.

The trooper pursued the truck south at speeds reaching 95 mph, Axtman said. During the chase, Troopers noticed the driver appeared to be stripping off items of clothing.

Troopers set out a spike strip across lanes near the Bow Hill Road exit, Axtman said, and “we had a successful spike of all four tires.”

Fox continued southbound, though Axtman said at speeds closer to 50 mph, tossing debris from the shredding tires along the way before finally pulling onto the left shoulder just south of the Cooke Road exit. He was taken into custody without further incident at approximately 6:06 p.m.

Troopers found two guns in the truck that Axtman said had been inside the truck when it was stolen.

“Fortunately, nobody was hurt and nobody else was involved,” Axtman said.

Only three days earlier, Fox pleaded guilty in Whatcom County Superior Court to second-degree taking a motor vehicle without the owner’s permission after he was stopped June 6 at the Peace Arch Point of Entry attempting to cross the U.S.-Canadian border in a blue Toyota sedan reported stolen out of Seattle, according to court documents. Fox was sentenced to 30 days of electronic home monitoring.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.
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