Walla Walla man sentenced to jail in chase case

Eduardo Miranda Salazar pleaded guilty in May in connection with the January pursuit.

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WALLA WALLA -- A man has been ordered to serve jail time for leading officials on a vehicle chase in January that ended in a crash in the west end of town.

Eduardo Miranda Salazar, 19, of 809 N. Ninth Ave., was sentenced Monday afternoon in Walla Walla County Superior Court to 60 days -- the low end of the two- to six-month standard range he faced.

Judge John Lohrmann ordered Salazar to serve 30 days in the County Jail, but converted the final 30 days to service on the Department of Corrections work crew.

Salazar pleaded guilty May 16 to a charge of attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle.

Officials said the Jan. 8 chase occurred when a county sheriff's deputy, parked in the 1200 block of West Pine Street about 12:35 a.m., saw a car speed by at about 50 mph in the 30-mph zone.

The driver, later identified as Salazar, continued to accelerate as he headed east on Pine and a Walla Walla police officer joined the pursuit through Cayuse and Cherry streets, and Ninth, Fifth, and Fourth avenues.

"The driver of the eluding vehicle failed to stop at about five stop signs and failed to signal on about eight turns," according to a sheriff's office report filed in court.

Salazar lost control of the car at the corner of Pine and 13th Avenue, the vehicle jumped a curb and went airborne for several feet before colliding into a building at 735 N. 13th, the report says.

Salazar reportedly was unresponsive and unconscious at the scene, so was taken to Providence St. Mary Medical Center for treatment. He smelled of alcohol and his privilege to drive had been suspended, according to officials.

He later was released from the hospital after receiving treatment for a head laceration and other minor injuries, and was not incarcerated pending the outcome of his case.

Salazar also had been charged with driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor and third-degree driving while license suspended. But those charges were dismissed in exchange for his guilty plea.

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

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