Injured woman drives erratically during chase through Petaluma

PETALUMA (BCN) — A woman who appears to have suffered injuries from a traffic collision led Petaluma police and California Highway Patrol officers on a pursuit before surrendering Sunday morning, a Petaluma police lieutenant said.

Elizabeth Higgins, 57, of San Anselmo, was taken to a hospital as a precaution before she was booked into Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of evading police in disregard of safety, obstructing officers and assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm.

A passing motorist informed police around 9:15 a.m. Sunday that a woman who appeared to be injured and unconscious was in a gold Mercedes sedan on the side of East Washington Street, Lt. Ken Savano said.

The pursuit began when the woman, identified later as Higgins, drove away when Petaluma police Officer Bill Baseman responded to the report, Savano said.

Higgins sped up, slowed down, raised her hands in the air, crossed double yellow lines, and drove into oncoming traffic and through a red light during the pursuit along Adobe Road, Petaluma Hill Road and Old Redwood Highway, where Petaluma police were waiting with spike strips at Ely Road and Old Redwood Highway, Savano said.

Higgins stopped driving before hitting the spike strips but her Mercedes was boxed in by pursuing police cars. She also was initially uncooperative and would not get out of her car, but finally surrendered and was taken into custody, according to Savano.

Officers then noticed Higgins had visible injuries consistent with having been in a collision, Savano said.

Higgins was not wanted by police, has a valid driver’s license and does not have a criminal history. Police are investigating what happened before Higgins was first seen in her car and why she fled when police arrived, Savano said.

Higgins is being held in Sonoma County Jail under $50,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon in Sonoma County Superior Court.

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