A Sutherlin woman suspected of impaired driving was transported to a local hospital after a pursuit Wednesday afternoon near Sutherlin.

Sutherlin police were alerted to a report of a possible intoxicated driver on Old Highway 99 North near Deady Crossing shortly before 2 p.m. Witnesses reported the suspect’s vehicle, a red Ford Focus, after the car had stopped in the middle of the northbound lane of the highway, according to a police report.

Officers found the vehicle traveling north in the 1300 block of South Calapooia in Sutherlin at an estimated 25 mph, causing traffic to pass in the center lane and backing up other traffic. The Ford Focus reportedly stopped in the northbound lane, nearly causing a chain reaction crash, police said.

Once contacted by Sutherlin police, the driver, 44-year-old Debra Smith, reportedly sped away at a high rate of speed. A pursuit ensued, and Smith reportedly turned onto South State Street. Once she reached the end of South State Street, she reportedly turned around and sped toward both police cruisers, colliding with both and disabling her vehicle.

Officers had to employ a Taser to take Smith into custody, after which she was transported to the hospital.

Both patrol vehicles sustained damage, with one rendered undriveable and required to be towed from the scene. Neither Smith nor the officers involved were injured.

Smith is facing charges of felony attempt to elude, reckless driving and second-degree attempted assault.

Donovan Brink can be reached at dbrink@nrtoday.com and 541-957-4219.

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Cops and Courts Reporter

Donovan Brink is the cops and courts reporter for The News-Review.

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