A police pursuit led to a stolen vehicle catching fire and the arrest of two suspects early Thursday morning, according to a press release from Springfield Police.
At about 12:44 a.m., Oct. 19, a Springfield Police Officer was patrolling for auto theft activity, and saw a stolen Honda Accord in the area of Pheasant Blvd. and Harlow Rd.
The officer turned around towards the Honda, which had attained speeds of up to 70 mph before the officer activated the overhead lights to initiate a traffic stop.
The suspect, identified as Dakota Dale Stover, 23, a transient, led the officer through the Gateway area and into Eugene at speeds of up to 88 mph.
Stover, according to police, continued the pursuit through Eugene and drove through spike strips on W. 6th Ave. deployed by a Lane County Sheriff’s deputy.
The pursuit continued after one of the tires had separated itself from the Honda, with the vehicle catching on fire near Hwy. 99 and Royal Ave.
As flames were rising from the Honda, the pursuit continued further up to Fairfield Ave., still at speeds up to 55 mph until Stover pulled over.
Flames were entering the inside of the Honda when Stover and his passenger, Belinda Angelina Merlos, 20, of Springfield were removed from the vehicle.
Stover was arrested and taken to Lane County Jail on charges of eluding police by vehicle, unauthorized use of a vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of burglary tools, reckless driving and reckless endangering.
Merlos was arrested on a charge of unauthorized use of a vehicle, and a Parole and probation possession for methamphetamine possession.