Photo courtesy of Hood River Police Department
A toll gate was damaged on the Hood River-White Salmon Interstate Bridge Tuesday when a driver in a reportedly stolen van smashed through the barrier, heading southbound into Oregon. The suspect driver led Washington State Patrol troopers and then local authorities on a highway chase that ended near Parkdale. Officials arrested a Salem man and recovered the van, which police said had been stolen out of The Dalles.
As of Friday, May 13, 2016
Deputies with Hood River County Sheriff’s Office arrested the driver of a reportedly stolen van near Parkdale early Tuesday morning, following a chase on Highway 35.
Thomas Leonard Berry, 33, of Salem, was lodged in Northern Oregon Regional Corrections Facility on charges of attempting to elude a police officer and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
On Tuesday, May 10, just after 10 p.m., deputies were told Washington State Patrol was pursuing a 2005 Ford Van that had been reportedly stolen out of The Dalles.
The vehicle crossed over the Hood River Toll Bridge, damaging the gate at the toll booth. It continued southbound on Highway 35. After losing the vehicle for a short period, a deputy found the stolen car still heading south on the highway.
Another pursuit began with speeds reaching around 85 miles per hour. The driver turned south onto Cooper Spur Road, off the highway. The pursuing deputy lost sight of the van near Parkdale. Deputies searched the area but couldn’t immediately find the stolen vehicle or the driver.
Just before 1 a.m., a resident in the 7300 block of Baseline Drive reported a prowler on their property. Deputies, who were still in the area, found the “prowler” and took him into custody. Their investigation revealed that man was the driver of the stolen van.
Later that morning, deputies recovered the stolen van at an orchard in the 8600 block of nearby Cooper Spur Road.
Berry remains in NORCOR on $10,000 bail.