A driver was seriously injured after a police chase and crash into the Hamlet Quick Stop on Friday, March 8.
At about 8:45 p.m., the Seaside Police Department attempted to stop a vehicle for reckless driving when the driver began to elude the officer. The pursuit traveled south along Highway 101 to the Highway 26 junction where the fleeing suspect began driving east.
After a couple of miles, the officer ended the pursuit by turning off the patrol vehicle’s emergency lights and siren.
The suspect had reportedly driven into the oncoming traffic lane multiple times while passing vehicles and traveling between 60 and 80 miles per hour.
The officer continued to drive east on Highway 26 to follow in the direction the suspect was traveling. After several miles the officer completely lost sight of the suspect vehicle.
After passing the Highway 26 and Highway 53 Junction, the officer continued east on Highway 26, stopping to turn around near Saddle Mountain Road to return to Seaside when a reported single-vehicle crash occurred at the Hamlet Quick Stop store, located at the Highway 53 Junction. The vehicle involved in the crash was the suspect vehicle that had eluded the officer.
Hamlet Fire responded to the scene, Chief Matt Verley said.
Firefighters had to winch the vehicle out of the building and cut the driver out of the car.
The driver suffered severe injuries, Verley said, and was sent to Columbia Memorial Hospital in Astoria.
The building was damaged, Verley said, but in a section that did not impact the store itself. The store was closed at the time.
Emergency rescue personnel responded and extracted the driver from the vehicle. The driver sustained serious injuries and was transported to Columbia Memorial Hospital before being transported to a Portland-area hospital.
At this time, the driver’s name is not being released and the driver is not currently under arrest while being treated for injuries sustained during the single-vehicle crash into the store caused by the suspect’s own reckless driving, Seaside Police said.
The investigation continues into the felony elude of a police officer and reckless driving. The case will be forwarded to the Clatsop County District Attorney’s office for review.