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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow AMBULANCES NEEDED AT END OF HIGH-SPEED CHASE



By The Observer

NORTH POWDER A high-speed pursuit Tuesday afternoon left two people injured and law officers, including Union County Sheriff Steve Oliver, reminded of the risks of their job.

Union Countys 911 dispatch center received a call at about 2:30 p.m. reporting that two people in a silver Honda two-door had been threatening passengers in another vehicle, possibly with a gun, near Thief Valley Reservoir.

Sheriff Oliver spotted the Honda just west of North Powder while he was westbound on Interstate 84. Oliver began following the vehicle.

During the pursuit, the male passenger, identified as Alex X. Davenport, 23, possibly of Tennessee, fired shots at Oliver from the Honda, according to a statement Tuesday afternoon from the Oregon State Police.

He fired two shots, and then I backed off, Oliver said, and I think he fired again from out of the sunroof.

The car was doing about 105 mph when he was firing, Oliver added.

None of the shots hit Oliver or his patrol vehicle, but the sheriff planned to have county maintenance personnel check the undercarriage of the car this morning.

The pursuit and shots quickly turned the pursuit into a major incident involving at least two other sheriff deputies, several Oregon State Police troopers from both Baker City and La Grande, and members of the La Grande Police Department.

I never saw so many police cars, Oliver remembers thinking when he had Davenport in custody.

As the chase continued, Oliver reported that the Honda was hitting speeds above 95 mph.

A major concern during the pursuit, Oliver said, was the amount of traffic on the interstate, including passenger vehicles and truck traffic.

The driver was weaving among traffic and, at least twice, passed trucks by going into the gravel on the left side of the highway.

As the pursuit neared the interstate overpass near milepost 280 in the Clover Creek area, the Honda again went onto the gravel shoulder to pass, but this time crashed and rolled several times into the median.

Davenport apparently lost the weapon he allegedly fired at Oliver when the vehicle rolled, and the two people were ejected from the vehicle. They then fled on foot into a nearby field.

Oliver and deputies Chuck Anderson and Roger Washbond followed the two on foot for nearly a mile, according to information provided by the state police, finally taking both suspects into custody without any further problems.

Davenport, and the female driver, identified as Holly Lynn Ervin, 22, also possibly of Tennessee, were taken to Grande Ronde Hospital with injuries.

State police described Ervin as having minor injuries and Davenport as having suffered moderate injuries when the vehicle rolled.

Davenport was hospitalized this morning with what were reported to be multiple facial fractures. Ervin was booked into the Union County jail at 7 p.m.

Oliver said charges have not been filed against Davenport, who may be transferred today to Multnomah County to be kept under medical custody.

Following the apprehension of Davenport and Ervin, deputies conducted an evening raid at the North Powder Motel where the two had been staying.

Details of what was found were not available this morning, but it was known that a 4-foot lizard of some kind, possibly a bearded dragon, was impounded.


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