Woman charged in weekend pursuit

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WALLA WALLA — A 61-year-old Kennewick woman suspected of leading law enforcement on a high-speed chase for about 20 miles from Prescott to Walla Walla last weekend was formally charged Monday afternoon in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

Catherine J. Johnson is accused of attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle.

Officials said the pursuit by a Walla Walla County sheriff’s deputy began about 2:10 p.m. Saturday when a red car allegedly driven by Johnson was seen heading west on state Route 124 through Prescott at about 90 mph.

After the 2009 Mitsubishi Galant turned south onto state Route 125, speeds reached 100 mph and, at one point, the vehicle left the highway, but re-entered, according to a Sheriff’s Office report filed in court.

Meanwhile, a different deputy placed a spike strip at the highway and Harvey Shaw Road. The car reportedly hit the spikes, the driver continued to travel on a rim and a tire fell off near the main gate of the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.

The car started swerving, struck a curb and finally stopped near the intersection of Pine Street and North 13th Avenue.

Johnson — who reportedly told authorities she didn’t stop because she was “really sick” — was booked into the Walla Walla County Jail.

Officials confirmed that Johnson wasn’t under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Bail later was set at $7,500.

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