A vehicle flipped over after its driver eluded Ontario police on Saturday, March 12. The vehicle crashed into a van before shearing a power pole. (Mara Kirby Garcia photo)
ONTARIO – A vehicle fleeing police crashed with a private van near downtown Ontario Saturday afternoon, sheared off a utility pole and caused a chain-reaction collision involving vehicles parked in a residential neighborhood.
Sgt. Dave Walters of the Ontario Police Department said in a statement Sunday that a patrol officer tried to stop a Mercedes with Idaho license plates in the 700 block of Northwest Second Street, north of downtown Ontario.
The driver accelerated and the officer, not identified in the statement, stopped his pursuit 22 seconds after it started “due to the speed and the residential location of the incident.”
The driver continued south on the street, going through stop signs and red lights before crashing at the intersection of Southwest Second Street and Fifth Avenue. His car struck a van driven by Kathleen Hill, 68, of Ontario.
The Mercedes then crashed into three parked cars and hit the utility pole. A piece of one of the parked vehicles broke off and crashed through the window of a home.
The scene is about two blocks from the Ontario Police Department.
Police identified the driver as Nicholas Acevez, 37, of Ontario.
Hill and Acevez were initially taken to Saint Alphonsus Medical Center Ontario before being flown to Boise for additional treatment. They remained hospitalized Sunday.
The Oregon State Police are investigating, with information being referred to Malheur County District Attorney Dave Goldthorpe to consider criminal charges.
Erica Shiflet, corporate communication manager for Idaho Power, said power was restored to 258 customers about 11 p.m. Saturday.
Crews from Idaho Power work to restore power after a vehicle driven by a person eluding Ontario police crashed, shearing a utility pole. The episode on Saturday, March 12, hospitalized two people. (Mara Kirby Garcia photo)
EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM – Available for $5 a month. Subscribe to the digital service of the Enterprise and get the very best in local journalism. We report with care, attention to accuracy, and an unwavering devotion to fairness. Get the kind of news you’ve been looking for – day in and day out from the Enterprise.