Trial date set for Walla Walla man in high-speed chase

Eduardo Miranda Salazar is accused of fleeing police while under the influence in January.

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WALLA WALLA -- A man pleaded innocent Monday afternoon to criminal charges stemming from 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., is scheduled for trial May 17 in Walla Walla County Superior Court. He is accused of attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor and third-degree driving while license suspended.

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

The driver, later identified as Salazar, allegedly 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, and 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.

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

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