An unlicensed 14-year-old girl driving a friend’s vehicle crashed into a Marion-Polk Food Share truck in the Safeway parking lot Monday, March 13.

Deputy Chief Jeff Kuhns was returning to the police station about 12:40 p.m. when he observed a 1994 Mercury traveling east on Lockhaven Drive North and turning south on River Road North too quickly. The vehicle’s speed caused it to drift into oncoming lanes of traffic.

Kuhns began following the vehicle with three occupants inside and the driver had trouble maintaining a single lane, nearly crashing into another driver when changing lanes.

By the time the Mercury turned left onto Chemawa Road Northeast, Kuhns had radioed ahead to the station and requested a patrol officer make a traffic stop on the Mercury.

Still trailing the Mercury, Kuhns stopped on Chemawa Road Northeast to allow an approaching patrol car to make a U-turn and make the traffic stop. At that point, the Mercury sped up and attempted to turn into the Safeway parking lot where it collided with the MPFS truck waiting to make a left turn.

Kuhns said the driver was again going too fast to make the turn safely. The crash caused the airbags to deploy.

During an investigation, a 17-year-old passenger told officers she had gone to McNary High School to obtain the paperwork to re-enroll at the school and allowed the 14-year-old to drive the car after leaving the campus. The third passenger was 15 years old.

The 17-year-old was injured when the airbags deployed. She was cited for providing a vehicle to an unqualified driver.

The 14-year-old was arrested and taken to the Marion County Juvenile Detention Facility and charged with reckless driving and failure to perform the duties of a driver.

The driver of the Marion-Polk Food Share truck was unharmed.

Driver leads officer

on high-speed pursuit

A Keizer man was arrested after leading a Keizer police officer on a high-speed chase about 2 a.m. on Friday, March 17.

A Keizer police officer spotted a 1999 Chevrolet Silverado pick-up fly past the 7-Eleven parking lot at an estimated 70 miles per hour in a posted 35 mile per hour zone.

The officer attempted to catch up with the driver and activated his overhead lights. The driver of the Chevrolet made a high-speed turn on Dearborn Avenue Northeast and rode up over the curb nearly striking a traffic signal pole.

The officer continued the pursuit and activated his siren. The Chevrolet continued traveling in excess of the speed limit on Dearborn before making another turn on Paulette Street Northeast and coming to a stop.

The pursuing officer was joined by two additional patrol units and the driver was taken into custody without further incident.

Michael Zepeda, 25, was arrested and taken to Marion County Correctional Facility where he was charged with reckless driving and attempting to elude an officer.