Why a fugitive in a car chase would try to lose his pursuers by heading to Three Rivers can only be described as a desperate act. Visalia Police Department officers called at least three different agencies en route to Three Rivers for an intercept as they followed their suspect the 30 miles from east Visalia to Three Rivers via Highway 198.
One Tulare County Sheriff’s Department deputy said the suspect’s car reached speeds in excess of 90 mph and drove several sections on the wrong side of the road during the chase. Apparently, when the chase reached the White Horse Inn on Hwy. 198 in Three Rivers, the suspect’s vehicle burst into flames.
Taken into custody at the scene was Michael Nash, 42, of Visalia, who has a long list of priors and warrants for parole violations, attempted homicide, and kidnapping, will now be dealing with new charges of reckless driving and resisting arrest.
DUI crashes— Two Three Rivers residents were involved in separate accidents this past week; both were cited for DUI.
The first incident occurred Friday, Jan. 18, at 11:45 p.m., when a 39-year-old Three Rivers man was driving westbound on Highway 198 in a 1993 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck.
According to the CHP report, when he came out of the curve east of the intersection with Mineral King Road, he drove straight across the eastbound lane into a steep mountain on the south side of the roadway. He was not wearing a seatbelt and no airbag deployed because his truck was manufactured prior to the model year when driver-side airbags became standard equipment.
The motorist, who was alone at the time of the crash, suffered facial lacerations and head trauma when he made impact with the windshield. The injured driver was transported via ambulance to Kaweah Delta Medical Center where he was admitted into intensive care to undergo surgery. He was later cited for DUI by the investigating officer.
Another accident occurred Sunday, Jan. 20, when a 62-year-old woman was driving her 2015 Nissan Maxima on North Fork Drive one-quarter mile north of the intersection with Hwy. 198. As she approached her driveway the car swerved right, clipped a power pole, and came to a stop.
The woman exited the vehicle and with the help of her husband moved the vehicle from the scene of the crash to their residence nearby.
A CHP officer, who was in the vicinity, contacted the woman at her residence where she was arrested for DUI and transported, booked, and held overnight at the Tulare County Pre-Trial Facility. Her vehicle had extensive damage on the passenger side; the woman, who was alone at the time of the crash, was not seriously injured.