Walla Walla man pleads guilty in high-speed chase

Lonnie L. Montoya faces up to a year in jail in connection with the chase in October.


WALLA WALLA -- A Walla Walla man has pleaded guilty to leading authorities on a high-speed vehicle chase in October.

Lonnie L. Montoya, 29, of 205 W. Chestnut St., Apt. 3, entered guilty pleas Friday in Walla Walla County Superior Court to attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle and driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor.

Montoya faces up to a year in the County Jail when he's sentenced later.

Two additional charges -- reckless endangerment and driving without a license -- that initially were filed against him will be dropped, according to terms of a plea agreement.

The Oct. 2 chase began near Nine-Mile Hill on U.S. Highway 12. In a report filed in court, a Washington State Patrol trooper says he spotted the eastbound vehicle Montoya was driving at about 6:40 p.m. The vehicle was traveling faster than the 60 mph speed limit, according to the trooper's report.

Montoya then tried to elude the trooper who was attempting to catch up to him at speeds of at least 115 mph. The Montoya vehicle reportedly crossed over the center line several times and traveled east in the westbound lane, endangering other motorists.

After about eight minutes, the vehicle ran into a ditch near Spalding Road. Montoya reportedly jumped into the right rear seat and fell to the ground when the door opened.

The trooper wrote in his report that he could smell intoxicants on Montoya's breath, and he had red, watery eyes and slurred speech. Montoya was taken to Providence St. Mary Medical Center for treatment of a possible leg injury, then was booked into the County Jail.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.


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