A Winston man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of intoxicants and other charges after leading three Oregon State Police troopers on a chase that began on Interstate 5 and ended in a Winchester neighborhood on Sunday evening.
The initial call came in at approximately 7:30 p.m. from a driver who told a Douglas County Emergency Communications dispatcher that a black Dodge Ram 150 pickup had nearly hit them head-on while entering the freeway at the milepost 148 interchange at Rice Hill.
The caller said the pickup, driven by Kiel Gala, 37, ran a stop sign while entering the freeway. Two other callers reported that the pickup was driving erratically on the freeway and at one point had struck a guard rail. One of the callers reported having to drive onto the shoulder of the freeway to avoid being side-swiped by the pickup.
The pickup reportedly reached speeds of 100 mph.
When Oregon State Police troopers attempted a traffic stop, Gala reportedly attempted to elude the officer but missed his mark at the Winchester/Del Rio Road exit, driving into the grassy area between the freeway and offramp before correcting himself onto the off-ramp and onto Del Rio Road.
Gala reportedly then turned right onto Highway 99 South into Winchester. One trooper was able to pass Gala in an attempt to deploy spike strips, which may have impacted the left front tire.
Gala continued south on Highway 99 before turning right onto Hooker Road, eventually stopping at a residence on Oak Tree Road. Troopers reported that the left front tire was completely gone and Gala had been driving solely on the rim.
Gala was transported to the Douglas County Jail, where he provided a blood-alcohol content of .26%, more than three times the legal limit.
Gala was charged with DUII, failure to perform the duties of a driver (with property damage), reckless driving, attempting to elude, and three counts of reckless endangerment.