By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A Pinedale woman was arrested Wednesday after leading police on a car chase through Pinedale and crashing into a sheriff’s car before driving into a boulder.
Mariah Edwards, 28, was arrested and booked into the Sublette County Detention Center on Wednesday for allegedly driving while under the influence, reckless endangerment, aggravated assault, assault on a peace officer, eluding and not wearing a seatbelt.
Sublette County Sheriff’s Sgt. Travis Bingham told Cowboy State Daily on Thursday that officers are investigating the possibility that Edwards was under the influence of drugs when she started to flee from officers.
He added that such behavior behind the wheel is generally a bad idea.
“Wyoming, in general, has a higher DUI rate and they’re not a good idea,” Bingham said. “Running from the police puts everyone more at risk and makes things worse in the end.”
No one was injured in the chase.
According to the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office, around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sublette County dispatchers received a medical call about a person slumped over the steering wheel of a vehicle in the parking log of Pinedale’s Best Western Hotel. The reporting party stated that the driver had struck his vehicle.
Sublette County Sheriff’s officers responded to the hotel and when they approached the vehicle, they found a woman behind the wheel. She refused to exit the vehicle or speak with officers.
She then shifted the vehicle into reverse and backed into a tree before driving out of the parking lot at a high rate of speed.
Deputies pursued her through Pinedale. Another deputy was already at the southern end of town and coordinated with fellow deputies to perform a vehicle block.
As the pursuit neared the intersection of Sublette Avenue and Pine Street, the driver accelerated toward the road block and struck the rear driver’s side of the K9 patrol vehicle.
After hitting the vehicle, the car continued moving before crashing into a boulder and coming to rest in a grocery store parking lot.
Edwards, the deputy and the K9 were all taken for medical evaluation at the Pinedale Medical Clinic and released without major injury.
Bingham said he and the rest of the officers were grateful no one, especially their deputy or K9, was injured in the chase.
“We’re glad the impact didn’t happen on the K9 or deputy’s door, but in the back instead,” he said.