Wild chase along I-5 past Ashland ends in California

A California man landed in jail after leading officers from police agencies in two states on an early-morning chase over the Siskiyou Mountains Friday.

Robin J. Cowell, 39, of Carmel, Calif., was arrested early Friday near Yreka, Calif., nearly an hour after an Oregon State Police trooper first tried to stop him for an equipment violation near Medford, police said. The trooper spotted Cowell's 1998 Land Rover driving south on Interstate 5 through Medford. He attempted to stop the vehicle for a broken taillight near milepost 27 shortly after 3:15 a.m. Friday.

Cowell refused to pull over and instead raced away at speeds in excess of 90 mph, Oregon State Police reported.

At Exit 14, Ashland police laid out spike strips to stop Cowell. He hit one, puncturing one tire, but continued to speed south. By the time he had crossed the Siskiyou Pass, one tire had begun to disintegrate, OSP reported. His speed had dropped to 45 mph by the time he entered California.

California Highway Patrol officers were poised there to continue the chase. In the Yreka area, CHP set out additional spike strips, deflating a second tire. The vehicle skidded across the center median and into the northbound lanes of the freeway before coming to a stop, police said.

Cowell jumped out and tried to escape on foot, but CHP and OSP officers, with the help of Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department deputies, quickly caught up with him. He was taken into custody at 4:08 a.m. Friday.

Cowell was arrested on charges of felony evading police, misdemeanor driving under the influence of intoxicants, being under the influence of a controlled substance and resisting arrest. He was lodged in the Siskiyou County Jail, where he remained Friday night.

Reports also will be forwarded to the Jackson County District Attorney's Office for consideration of charges in Oregon as well, police said.

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