Man faces jail time in high-speed chase

Eduardo Miranda Salazar pleaded guilty in connection with a chase that ended in a crash.

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WALLA WALLA -- A man faces up to six months in the County Jail after pleading guilty Monday afternoon to 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., entered the guilty plea in Walla Walla County Superior Court to the charge of attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle.

Salazar -- who is not incarcerated pending the outcome of his case -- will be sentenced later.

The standard range he faces is two to six months in the County Jail. The prosecution is recommending the low end of that range and has agreed to dismiss additional charges of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor and third-degree driving while license suspended.

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 transported 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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