Liz Kellar

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May 28, 2013
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Fleeing suspect crashes into Grass Valley building

A man suspected of driving on a suspended license fled from a Grass Valley police officer but didn’t make it far before losing control and crashing into the side of a store Monday afternoon.

An officer in a marked unit was on patrol at East Main Street and Berryhill Drive at about 3:30 p.m. when he recognized a man driving a white Pontiac as Kalen Drake Turner, 22, said Sgt. Joe Matteoni.

Turner turned onto East Main Street from Berryhill, then allegedly attempted to flee at a high speed when the officer made a U-turn.

The officer lost sight of him momentarily and then saw him driving about 50 to 60 mph in the center turn lane down East Main Street, passing vehicles on the left, Matteoni said.

Turner then allegedly tried to make a left-hand turn onto Scandling Avenue but failed to make the turn and crashed into the side of Mountain Recreation in the 400 block of East Main Street.

“He probably blew a tire,” said store owner Jason Auld. “He took out a 6-inch post support and a metal hand railing and drove up the wall.”

The vehicle also broke two large plate-glass windows, sending shattered glass into the store, before coming to rest in a flower bed, Auld said.

Auld said three employees were in the store, none of whom were in the immediate area at the time of the crash.

“One (employee) said she had just finished cleaning that window,” Auld said.

“It could have been a lot worse. Nobody was hurt.”

Turner jumped from the car and fled, Matteoni said.

He allegedly was found hiding in some brush and tried to run again.

Officers ended up tasing Turner, who was then arrested without further incident, Matteoni said.

The wreck caused “pretty significant damage,” Matteoni said.

“The whole building shook,” Auld said, adding that he had not yet assessed any potential structural damage.

Turner was booked into county jail on suspicion of reckless evasion of a peace officer, hit and run, committing a felony while on bail, driving on a suspended license and resisting arrest.

He was released on $52,910 bail.

Turner had been arrested less than a week earlier in connection with the theft of two mountain bikes.

A witness to the May 21 theft called Grass Valley police to report that two men had stolen two mountain bikes off the porch of an apartment on Sutton Way, said Sgt. Steve Johnson.

The witness said they drove away in a white Toyota Tacoma pickup and was able to provide a license plate number.

As police officers were en route, a second caller reported a white Toyota Tacoma pickup was out of gas on Highway 49 and La Barr Meadows Road.

Turner was arrested and officers allegedly located prescription medication that did not belong to him, as well as drug paraphernalia and needles.

A chainsaw and a weed trimmer also were found in the truck, which are suspected to have been stolen.

Details emerge in DUI crash

Daniel Warfield, the 20-year-old Grass Valley man who allegedly fled the scene of an accident in downtown Grass Valley Friday night, was charged with driving under the influence and causing bodily injury, hit and run causing bodily injury and driving on a suspended license.

He was being held in county jail in lieu of $786,080 bail.

Warfield was arrested at 11:30 p.m. after allegedly losing control of his vehicle and crashing into a parked pickup truck in the 700 block of South Auburn Street.

Steve Briggs, the owner of the Ford F-250, said he heard Warfield’s vehicle coming up the road at a high rate of speed before the crash.

“He left skid marks on South Auburn Street of 354 feet in length,” Briggs said, adding that Warfield was going sideways up the street at an estimated speed of about 85 mph.

Warfield’s Mercury hit the truck at such high velocity that it “literally launched” the heavy-duty vehicle more than 40 feet into the air, Briggs said, adding the truck landed 90 degrees from the direction in which it was originally parked.

Warfield allegedly fled the scene but was located near Whiting Street.

He was taken to the hospital, treated and released.

A 22-year-old passenger in his car, whose identity was not released, reportedly sustained moderate injuries.

He was trapped in the car and firefighters from Grass Valley and Nevada County Consolidated had to remove the roof of the vehicle to extricate him.

He was transported by helicopter to Sutter Roseville Medical Center, but reportedly was treated and released.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4229.

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The Union Updated Jun 3, 2013 08:57AM Published Jun 6, 2013 10:36PM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.