High Speed Chase Brings Attention to Eluding Issue - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

High Speed Chase Brings Attention to Eluding Issue

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Yakima, WA -  A dangerous high speed chase through Downtown Yakima brings attention to an ongoing debate in our state legislature.  That's tougher sentences for criminals who elude police.

The suspect in this incident led sheriff's deputies on a pursuit along Yakima Avenue that witnesses say topped out at around 100 miles an hour.

Vanarendonk was driving a stolen jeep while he was high on meth and hit several parked cars, as well as a sign for a bus stop and a bench.

"We came down the stairs and we saw a truck here," says Dana McCartty, pointing to where a truck had been hit by the suspect.  The chase happened just before seven o'clock last night.

McCartty is a trainer at the YMCA.   She says it's a miracle no one was hurt.

"I had just run a loop around the block with my class."

Vanarendonk wrecked the jeep near the freeway and sheriff deputies arrested him.    

This is his third arrest for eluding police.

 "I'm concerned about having another tragedy where someone dies before we act," says Rep. Charles Ross, (R) 14th District.

He wants criminals who elude police to face a year in jail for a first offense.

He knows how tragic the consequences can be.  Ross introduced the Aguilar-Mendoza Public Safety Act during the last legislative session, but it stalled in the senate.

Ross says he plans to reintroduce the similar bill during the next legislative session.