PETALUMA – According to a Petaluma Police Department (PPD) Incident Summary, a 911 caller notified the PPD dispatch that a woman was observed in a gold Mercedes sedan on the side of the road. It was Sunday morning, at 9:17, and the caller believed that the woman may have been involved in a collision and might have been injured as her head was leaning against the driver’s side window as if she was unconscious.
When a PPD Officer arrived at the scene the woman drove away and failed to stop for the officer’s red lights and siren. She continued to flee eastbound on East Washington Street, driving erratically, sometimes speeding up then slowing down, and then at times raising both hands up in the air.
A second PPD unit joined in the pursuit, which sometimes reached 60 mph. The woman proceeded northbound on Adobe Road and continued driving erratically in the same fashion. At times she would slow down as if to stop and then would again speed off. While fleeing the officers on Adobe Road, she crossed the double yellow line twice into the path of oncoming traffic.
The woman continued northbound passing through the intersection of Adobe Road and Corona Road, where a CHP investigation was underway regarding a fatal collision from the previous morning. She then ran a red light at the intersection of Adobe Road and Petaluma Hill Road, and then turned back toward Petaluma on Old Redwood Highway, where PPD officers had laid out spike strips at the intersection with Ely Road. The woman stopped just short of the spikes and was boxed in by the PPD units.
The woman was initially uncooperative and refused to comply with the commands to exit the vehicle. Officers were finally able to convince her to surrender and she was taken into custody without further incident. Officers noticed that she had visible injuries consistent with having been involved in a collision. Prior to being booked she was transported to a local area hospital as a precaution.
The woman was identified as Elizabeth Higgins, a 57-year-old resident of San Anselmo. She was not wanted, she has a valid driver’s license and she has no criminal history. It is unknown at this time what occurred prior to PPD receiving the 911 call or why she fled once officers arrived. The department says additional details will be released when they are available.