OSP identifies driver in Highway 20 chase, suicide

Hit speeds of 100 mph; authorities closed highway for a time

TUMALO, Ore. - Oregon State Police on Sunday identified a 51-year-old Vancouver, Washington man who apparently shot and killed himself after leading police on a high-speed pursuit on Highway 20W Saturday night from the Sisters area to Tumalo, where spike strips stopped his SUV.

Around 8:40 p.m., OSP troopers and Deschutes County sheriff's deputies were notified by another law enforcement agency that a black SUV occupied by an armed, suicidal man identified as Farhad Masheri  was heading east on Highway 20 in the Santiam Pass area, said OSP Lt. Gregg Hastings.

About 15 minutes later, an OSP sergeant spotted the SUV and began following it, while other troopers and deputies moved into position east of Sisters to help stop it, Hastings said.

Masheri reportedly was going about 75 mph at times through the Sisters area and sped up to 90-100 mph east of town before finally stopping around 9:06 p.m. near milepost 11, in the Pinehurst Road area, troopers said.

A first attempt at using "spike strips" to deflate the tires and stop the SUV apparently failed and the chase continued east. It stopped after a second spike-strip attempt apparently was more successful.

But the driver refused to get out or show his hands while more police were called in, including OSP's SWAT team, a Bend police negotiator and a Bend PD armored vehicle.

Medics were put on alert at the nearby Tumalo station and an air ambulance placed on standby.

Just over an hour later, around 10:10 pm., officers were able to approach and check inside the SUV and found Masheri, alone in the car, dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, Hastings said.

The Deschutes County medical examiner was called to the scene and is assisting OSP in the death investigation.

Officers closed the highway in both directions during the pursuit and standoff, and it remained closed for a time late Saturday night as police investigated the scene, with ODOT providing detours onto nearby roads.

"Help is available in your local communities for people struggling from a mental health crisis and/or suicidal thoughts," OSP said in Sunday's update. "Suicide is preventable."

"If you or someone you know needs help with suicidal thoughts or is otherwise in an immediate mental health crisis, professionals are on call to handle mental health emergencies 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Please contact your local mental health crisis intervention services," OSP added.

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