Wednesday, November 13, 2013/lk
An attempted traffic stop in Oregon turned into a vehicle leading law enforcement officials on a chase across the Hood River-White Salmon Interstate Bridge and through Bingen on Friday.
According to Bingen-White Salmon Police Officer Tony Warren, an officer with the Hood River Police Department observed a “suspicious vehicle” speeding eastbound on Interstate 84. When the Hood River officer attempted to pull the car over the driver sped away, heading toward the toll bridge.
Warren said the vehicle, a Dodge Caravan carrying a driver and one passenger, began crossing the bridge with the Hood River officer behind. At one point small bags of an unknown substance were thrown out the window, followed by a duffel bag.
Once across, the vehicle headed into Bingen and proceeded to speed through town at 50 mph. At that point the Bingen-White Salmon Police, Hood River County Sheriff’s officers and a Klickitat County Sheriff’s deputy joined the chase.
Law enforcement caught up with the Caravan at milepost 69 on State Route 14 near Courtney Road, according to Warren. The driver, Norman Couch, 39, of The Dalles, was arrested by the Hood River Police Department along with the passenger, Tiffany Barajas, 20.
Couch was booked at the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility in The Dalles on charges of unlawful possession and delivery of marijuana and methamphetamine, reckless driving, attempting to elude a police officer vehicle, and tampering with evidence.
Barajas was also booked at NORCOR for unlawful possession and delivery of marijuana and methamphetamine, tampering with evidence, and offensive littering.