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Cops catch stolen car that zipped past wreck

ROGUE RIVER ' City police used spike strips early Wednesday morning to stop a stolen vehicle that sped through a crash scene, prompting a high-speed pursuit on Interstate 5.

Two teenage suspects from Eugene who were in the stolen car were arrested, Oregon State Police Lt. Tanya Henderson said in a news release.

Police first noticed the vehicle when it sped past the scene of a collision involving a pair of semi-trucks in the southbound lanes of the freeway at milepost 66, near Hugo.

At about 2:50 a.m., a Josephine County sheriff's deputy was helping a truck driver who had parked on the side of the freeway because the tommy gate on the rear of his trailer dropped and was dragging on the road, Henderson said.

A passing UPS semi-truck crossed over the fog line onto the road shoulder and sideswiped the parked truck. The UPS truck flipped onto its side, but its driver, Michael Tarrant, 49, of Klamath Falls, was not injured, Henderson said.

The crash closed one southbound lane of I-5. Investigators from the Josephine County sheriff's department and OSP were still there when the stolen car raced past. The car initially stopped after being flagged down by a sheriff's deputy, but then sped away, Henderson said.

Deputies and OSP troopers chased the vehicle into Jackson County at speeds that reached 100 mph, Rogue River Police Chief Ken Lewis said. At about 3:45 a.m., an officer from the Rogue River Police Department used spike strips to flatten two of the stolen car's tires, ending the pursuit.