WEST LINN, OR (KPTV) – A traffic stop turned into a car chase Tuesday afternoon on Highway 43 in West Linn.
According to law enforcement, an officer working a Click It or Ticket campaign near the Oregon City Arch Bridge spotted a driver, later identified as Ernest Keith Silva, 32, using a cellphone.
The officer while preparing to make a traffic stop checked the 1997 Toyota 4Runner’s registration through dispatch and discovered it had been reported as stolen out of Portland. When the officer tried to perform the traffic stop, Silva accelerated and drove north on Highway 43, but ran into traffic near McKillican Street, according to police.
Silva left the SUV and ran east on Holly Street toward the Willamette River, police say. The SUV continued to roll forward, crashing through a fence and hitting an office building on Holly Street. Officers say there was minimal damage to the building and extensive damage to the 4Runner and the fence.
Police, including officers from Oregon City and Lake Oswego and a K9 officer, later found Silva near the McLean House on River Street.
Silva was arrested and lodged at the Clackamas County Jail and is facing charges including reckless driving, recklessly endangering, unauthorized use of a vehicle, attempt to elude police officer, and a probation violation out of California for a stolen vehicle charge. Officers gave Silva a warning for using a cellphone while driving.
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