Redmond man jailed in pursuit that led to Hwy. 126 crash

Tips lead to suspect; officer, 2 others recovering

REDMOND, Ore. - (Update: Mugshot, more details on arrested Redmond man)

A Redmond man wanted on an outstanding warrant was arrested Friday, accused of fleeing police Wednesday and sparking a manhunt in which a Redmond police officer and two others were injured when his patrol car was rear-ended, officers said.

Jonathan Eveland, 34, was taken into custody without incident shortly after 10 a.m. Friday in the area of St. Charles Redmond, said police Lt. Curtis Chambers.

Eveland is accused of driving a pickup involved in Wednesday’s pursuit. Officer Chris Wooten stopped to turn left on Highway 126 as he helped set up a search perimeter, was struck from the rear by another driver in a three-vehicle crash that injured Wooten and two others.

Eveland was arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges of attempting to elude a police officer, reckless driving and an outstanding arrest warrant, Chambers said. He was taken to the Deschutes County Jail, where he was held without bail on a probation violation. A jail officer said he'd been released from jail two weeks earlier, on June 14, after serving time for a probation violation on a methamphetamine possession charge.

Eveland was identified as a suspect in the pursuit soon after the crash, Chambers said.

A Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office K-9 being used in the search tracked the suspect to a trailer, but Eveland was not found at the time. Since them, Chambers said, more information from witnesses and concerned citizens helped confirm Eveland as the suspect.

Chambers thanked the community for its well-wishes for Wooten, who was treated at St. Charles Redmond and released after the crash. 

The crash, which closed Highway 126 for hours, occurred around 5 p.m., Wednesday as Wooten was responding to assist in setting up a search perimeter during a pursuit of a pickup truck, involving officers with several agencies, Chambers said earlier.

Wooten was heading east on Highway 126, about a half-mile east of Southeast Veterans Way, at the wheel of a 2012 Dodge Charger patrol car when he stopped and signaled to turn left into the driveway of the old Redmond Rod and Gun Club location, Chambers said. He added that Wooten did not have his lights or sirens activated, as he was not in active pursuit of the subject.

Chambers said Wooten was waiting for oncoming traffic to clear when a silver 2008 Chevy full-size pickup also heading east behind the patrol car, driven by Kelsey Dixon, 24, of Powell Butte, failed failed to stop and crashed into the back of the officer’s car “at highway speeds,” Berland said.

The impact pushed the police car forward and the pickup went into the oncoming lane, where it collided head-on with a brown 2015 Dodge Ram pickup. The collision trapped its driver, Christopher Lane, 43, of Redmond, Berland said.

Lane was flown by AirLink helicopter to the hospital with serious injuries; a St. Charles Bend spokeswoman said he was in fair condition Thursday. Wooten and Dixon were taken by ambulance to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. 

Wooten sustained minor injuries to his back, neck and arm, according to Chambers. He remained conscious, alert and communicative after the crash. Wooten was taken by Crook County Fire medics to St. Charles Redmond, where he was treated and released.

Wooten, 36, was hired by the Redmond Police Department in May 2014, having previously served as a police officer in Arizona.

"We're in the vehicle most of the time, and unfortunately, these incidents do occur," Chambers said at the crash scene. "We're grateful tonight that the officer is not severely injured."

In Thursday's release identifying Wooten as the officer involved, Chambers said the investigation was continuing and added, "At this time, no conclusions can be drawn as to why Officer Wooten's patrol vehicle was rear-ended on a straight and level stretch of roadway."

Highway 126 remained closed for the investigation until reopening around 9:15 p.m., with a detour set up during that time.

OSP, the lead investigative agency, and Redmond police and fire units were assisted on scene by the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, the Bend Police Department and ODOT.

There also were reports around the same time of a single-vehicle rollover crash near milepost 10 of the O'Neil Highway, in Crook County, and a two-vehicle injury crash on Lower Bridge Way and Northwest 43rd Street, west of Terrebonne.

You can track traffic updates at KTVZ's ODOT TripCheck page.

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