Shortly after 5 p.m. August 13, a Lane County Sheriff’s Office deputy in Veneta spotted a stolen vehicle, potentially associated with a hit and run crash involving a pedestrian yesterday in Eugene. Deputies attempted to stop the vehicle at W. 11th and Greenhill Road at 5:22 p.m. The driver failed to yield and fled eastbound on Hwy. 126, turned onto Beltline Highway eastbound, exited on Northwest Expressway, then south to Maxwell Road. During the pursuit, the vehicle was reported to be forcing other vehicles off the roads and hitting them. The vehicle navigated several side streets in the area.
At the intersection of Maxwell Road and River Road, the driver of the stolen vehicle struck a bicycle, being pushed by the 24-year-old female bicyclist, who had dismounted the bicycle after hearing the sirens. Moments later, the vehicle was forcibly stopped and pinned at Maxwell and River Road by two Eugene Police units and an LCSO unit.
The woman later thanked police sounding their sirens, alerted her to danger and potentially saving her life.
The driver of the stolen vehicle, Heather Renee Smith, age 39, no address, was taken into custody and charged with Elude, Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle, Reckless Driving, Hit and Run, and a Parole Violation.