- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A high speed chase in Waldorf ended with no injuries and charges pending against the woman behind the wheel of a fleeing vehicle.
At about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, officers went to the Hampshire neighborhood, where family members told them a woman in her late 20s had made threats to kill herself by crashing her car.
Charles County Sheriff’s Office Spokeswoman Diane Richardson said that as officers were approaching the Waldorf neighborhood, they spotted the woman exiting Hampshire onto Smallwood Drive West in a Volvo SUV.
Officers tried to stop her, but the woman continued driving over a concrete median into oncoming traffic.
The woman made a left onto St. Patrick’s Drive, where, Richardson said, she was on the correct side of the road.
The woman failed to stop at a red light and made a right onto southbound U.S. 301.
The chase went down 301 and then back onto Smallwood Drive West, where the woman once again crossed a median into oncoming traffic.
Richardson said the woman traveled on the wrong side of the road for about two miles.
“Our officers stayed on the right side of the road and parallel with her,” she said.
Officers were stationed in the surrounding area, but because it was a fluid event, warning other drivers was difficult, Richardson said.
Traci Renner of Waldorf was traveling east on Smallwood Drive West in the area of William B. Wade Elementary School at about 5:40 p.m.
Renner said an SUV squeezed in between her car and another SUV with about an inch to spare.
She said her first thought was a question of why the SUV just cut her off.
”Not even a second later, I saw why,” Renner said.
She said another SUV was headed westbound in the eastbound lane and the SUV that had cut her off was trying to get out of the way.
Renner said she saw one police car following the SUV and two others in the westbound lanes.
Renner and the two cars in front of hers pulled over, to get their bearings, she said.
During the chase, the woman led police back into the Hampshire neighborhood.
Officers placed stop sticks, three-foot long strips of spikes designed to puncture tires, in her path.
The stop sticks, Richardson said, caused a slow leak in her tires. The woman attempted to loop around the neighborhood again, but an officer got close enough to the vehicle to force her into a ditch.
The woman was taken to a hospital for evaluation, and Richardson said charges are pending.
Richardson said, “clearly she was a danger to other drivers” and it was fortunate nobody was injured.
“There was real potential that this could have turned into something awful,” she said.
The incident lasted 10 minutes.
“I think our officers, given the fact that the situation was very fluid, did a really good job in getting her stopped,” Richardson said.
Renner said she was dumbfounded that there was a chase going on. She said, “It’s not something you would expect to see on Smallwood Drive on a Tuesday evening.”