A chase originating at Toledo’s Dairy Queen ended with the suspect vehicle over the side of Highway 229 and in the Siletz River Wednesday, sending the driver to the hospital.
The 30-mile pursuit, initiated by Toledo Police, was ended at Mile Post 1 on the Siletz Highway –just shy of Highway 101– shortly after midnight Wednesday. A spike strip deployed around 12:20 a.m. took out all four tires on a red Acura and the car went through a yard, down a steep embankment and into the Siletz River.
Rescuers had to pull the man, identified as Michael Robert Van-Houte, up to the highway using rope and a portable stretcher. Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputies worked alongside North Lincoln Fire & Rescue personnel to get the man up to an awaiting ambulance.
The condition of Van-Houte is unknown at this time, but he faces charges of driving while suspended, littering, recklessly endangering, reckless driving, eluding police (both in vehicle and on foot) and driving under the influence of a controlled substance. A total bail has been set for Van-Houte at $215,000.
Lincoln City Police assisted Toledo Police and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.
Toledo Police Chief Michael Pace said North Lincoln Fire & Rescue’s rope team was fantastic and did their job professionally.