Police chase southbound vehicle on north I-5

By Kara Spencer

A driver dodged multiple officers while heading southbound in the northbound lanes of Interstate 5, just north of Birch Bay-Lynden Road at 4:30 a.m. on Monday, January 22.

A Whatcom County deputy initially used hand signals and emergency lights in attempt to stop the blue 1994 Honda Civic, driven by Jonathan Baird, 20, but was not successful. The driver, estimated to be going 30 mph, ignored the Whatcom County deputy and continued, passing milepost 264.

A Ferndale officer pulled in front of Baird, putting on their siren and lights near post 263. Baird was briefly stopped by the officer but then drove around him.

After the two failed attempts, a deputy placed spike strips and tried to stop the vehicle by paralleling it near the Main Street overpass. Even with two flat tires, Baird continued south, passed by three semi-trucks heading north.

Finally, an officer stopped Baird using a pursuit intervention technique (PIT) which forces a vehicle to abruptly turn sideways. Baird, whose last known residence is in Alaska, said he was aware of the police intervention but chose to ignore them. After taking a negative alcohol breath test, Baird was arrested and taken to the county jail for reckless driving, resisting arrest and eluding a police vehicle, a class C felony.

Police displayed proper training, sheriff Bill Elfo said.

“In this case, the coordination between local law enforcement and the training deputies receive in the use of spike strips and the PIT maneuver paid off in terms of stopping Baird before he killed someone else or himself,” he said.

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