MADERA COUNTY — A search for an erratic driver that began in the Coarsegold area ended with a short road closure and a felony arrest on Highway 145 near Road 31 this afternoon.
Just after 1:30 p.m., a motorist reported a northbound driver near the 22 Mile House, passing over double yellow lines, swerving all over the road and endangering the public on Highway 41.
CHP dispatch issued a “Be On The Lookout” for a black 2014 Chevy Equinox. Other motorists also reported the vehicle, including the information that it had turned around near Lucky Lane, and was headed back southbound.
CHP’s H40 helicopter picked up the Equinox near the four-corners of Highway 41, headed west on Highway 145. A State Parks law enforcement officer in the area attempted to make a stop on the vehicle near Road 37, but the female driver refused to pull over.
One individual who had reported the Equinox to 911 was following it, but was told by dispatch to discontinue as there may be a firearm in the vehicle, based on information from a previous stop.
H40 continued to track the vehicle from above, and reported back to road officers that the driver was proceeding at 55-60 mph, basically staying within the speed limit.
At Road 33, CHP says officers threw out spike strips and were successful in puncturing the right side tires of the Equinox, but it continued westbound on Highway 145, at first speeding up to 70 mph and running down the shoulder, and finally slowing on the flattened tires and coming to a stop near Road 31.
CHP blocked traffic in both directions as officers conducted a felony arrest, taking the driver into custody without further incident at 2:38 p.m.
The as-yet-unnamed female driver was arrested for felony evading and other charges.