A suspected drunk driver who allegedly stole a motorhome and led law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase from the Santa Clarita area into the San Fernando Valley, hitting multiple vehicles and narrowly missing others before crashing into a tree and a car in Tarzana and coming to a stop, was in custody Wednesday morning.
The chase began about 7:05 p.m. Tuesday in the Towsley Canyon area, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Julie Ann Rainbird, 52, of Winnetka was booked on suspicion of offenses including “evading a police officer causing injury or death,” and was held in lieu of $100,000 bail, the California Highway Patrol reported. She had also been wanted on unspecified warrants.
Rainbird drove on freeways and then city streets before the pursuit ended about 7:35 p.m. near the intersection of Tampa Avenue and Wells Drive.
Along the way, the suspect ran red lights and at times drove on the wrong side of the street, at one point broadsiding a car in the area of Tampa Avenue and Ventura Boulevard and narrowly missing others.
The suspect, at times with two dogs on her lap, also drove through a parking lot where the motorhome slammed into a palm tree, tearing away the front and right side of the vehicle and causing its windshield to fly away.
The speeding motorhome, with debris flying out and liquid spilling onto the road as the suspect maneuvered wildly, also struck some parked vehicles and pushed others out of its path.
One of the dogs leapt or fell from the vehicle through the gap where the windshield had been and ran off during the chase.
After the final crash, which seriously injured a motorist who was backing out of a driveway, the suspect tried to run from officers with the second dog following, but she was quickly caught and cuffed, blood pouring from her face.
Both dogs were corralled by officers and placed in the custody of Los Angeles Animal Services with non-life-threatening injuries.
The woman was handcuffed to a gurney and placed into an ambulance, and she was treated at a hospital for treatment of minor injuries, the CHP said.
The motorhome was reported stolen out of Simi Valley, according to the sheriff’s department.
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