Liz Kellar

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July 17, 2012
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Man, 21, arrested after hectic high-speed chase near Truckee

TRUCKEE, Calif. — A Colfax man remains in custody in Nevada County jail after allegedly trying to steal a truck and hitting a man, dragging him for 50 feet, Friday afternoon on the outskirts of Truckee.

The man, identified as Derek Jonathan Wright, 21, was walking along the railroad tracks in Placer County at about 5:15 p.m. Friday, according to a report by the California Highway Patrol. Wright came upon a maintenance crew in the Coldstream Valley Recreation area working on the tracks and allegedly tried to steal a work vehicle with the keys in the ignition.

A worker allegedly tried to stop Wright, who fled, hitting him and dragging the man about 50 feet and pinning him between the stolen vehicle and another vehicle.

Wright then fled the scene with a state parks officer in pursuit; he allegedly then intentionally drove into the patrol vehicle before fleeing again at high speed. Although CHP officers laid a spike strip across a road in Donner Memorial State Park, just before the exit, Wright continued driving at high speed, according to the report.

He then allegedly crashed through a large metal gate near the Truckee Donner Lodge, damaging surrounding cars, then lost control as he made a right turn onto Donner Pass Road, colliding with a vehicle that was carrying a family of four.

Wright eventually drove onto Interstate 80 westbound, with multiple state parks and Truckee police in pursuit, before the right front tire of his vehicle completely deflated. He was taken into custody without further incident.

Wright was booked into Wayne Brown Correctional facility on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, hit and run causing injury, driving under the influence causing bodily injury, vehicle theft, and evading a peace officer. He was being held in lieu of $150,000 bail.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Jul 17, 2012 01:15PM Published Jul 17, 2012 11:29AM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.