HARPER – An Idaho man wanted on a homicide warrant led police on a high-speed chase across snowy Harney and Malheur counties Saturday night before spike strips ended the wild ride west of Harper.
John David Wurdemann of Twin Falls and his passenger were arrested and lodged in the Malheur County jail, according to Oregon State Police.
Wurdemann, 46, faces charges of felony attempt to elude in a vehicle, felon in possession of a firearm, two nationwide felony warrants – one from Twin Falls for unlawful possession of a firearm and the second one for homicide from Canyon County, Idaho. He also was charged with reckless driving and recklessly endangering another.
Stormy Raine Allen, 22, of Twin Falls faces charges of felony attempt to elude in a vehicle, felon in possession of a firearm, hindering prosecution, tampering with evidence, offensive littering and interfering with a police officer.
The incident began when the OSP learned that a fugitive, thought to have violent tendencies, was driving between Burns and Ontario on U.S. Highway 20 in a Ford F150 pickup truck. OSP troopers were joined by officers from the Harney and Malheur sheriff’s offices and a Bureau of Land Management agent in trying to locate the truck.
About 8:45 p.m., police located the truck, pulled off the highway shoulder near milepost 163. When police pulled up, the pickup drove away. Police said the vehicle was driven recklessly, traveling into the path of oncoming vehicles and at speeds ranging from 50 mph and 100 mph.
During the pursuit items including a loaded gun were tossed out of the vehicle. Harney County deputies recovered those items.
At milepost 216, Malheur County deputies deployed spike strips, which flattened the tires on the driver side. The truck slowed and veered off the highway into a snow drift.
Both lanes of the highway were blocked for about 15 minutes while police took the two into custody.
The truck was towed to Ontario and secured at the OSP lot.
The investigation is continuing.