Saturday, February 28, 2009

Man wrecks car, steals ambulance

A Hoopa man who drove his car over an embankment on State Route 299 allegedly stole an ambulance when emergency workers came to help him, then led police on an hour-long chase Thursday night.

Derick Gates, 20, drove a 2003 Honda Accord over the bank and collided with several trees near the Boise Creek Campground just west of Willow Creek at around 8:15 p.m., according to a California Highway Patrol report. When emergency personnel showed up, Gates refused treatment, the CHP said.

While waiting for a CHP unit, Gates allegedly hopped into the ambulance and sped eastbound. A Humboldt County Sheriff's Office deputy who was nearby pursued the ambulance, the CHP reported.

Gates then turned onto State Route 96 and drove into Hoopa, the CHP reported, then along several other roads as a CHP officer joined the chase. Gates then turned back toward Willow Creek. A CHP officer managed to deflate the right tires of the ambulance using a spike strip, but Gates allegedly kept driving, back west on Route 299.

The ambulance broke down near Titlow Hill Road, the CHP reported, and Gates was taken into custody at 9:30 p.m.

Gates was taken to Mad River Community Hospital, where he reportedly refused treatment and struggled with officers, who then carried him into the emergency room.

Gates was booked into Humboldt County Jail on suspicion of evading a police officer, stealing an emergency vehicle and driving under the influence of a controlled substance.

Source: Eureka Times standard - Link

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