Man eludes troopers after pursuit, crash in Gig Harbor area

Washington State Patrol troopers were searching for a man who led them on a high-speed pursuit early today, then crashed on a state Route 16 off-ramp in Gig Harbor.

A Washington State Patrol sergeant first spotted the man driving a gray Saturn erratically eastbound on SR 16 near Southeast Mullinex Road in Kitsap County just after 2 a.m. today, State Patrol trooper Krista Hedstrom said. The sergeant tried to stop car.

The driver got off the highway, went through a stop sign and got back onto SR 16, heading toward Gig Harbor.

The driver went 85 to 95 mph as the sergeant pursued him. The Saturn exited at Wollochet Drive Northwest and crashed into the brush. The driver fled on foot, Hedstrom said.

Troopers and a police dog searched the area but did not locate the driver. Investigators suspect the man might have called someone on a cell phone to pick him up, Hedstrom said.

Kitsap County sheriff's deputies contacted the Saturn's registered owner in Port Orchard. The owner reported the car had been stolen and worked with deputies to file a p0lice report, Hedstrom said.

Troopers impounded the Saturn for processing.

There was no description available on the fleeing driver, Hedstrom said.