Photo: Karen Denise Deselms
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY — Perhaps inspired by the pulse-pounding scenarios of recent popular movie hits, on January 2nd, a 56-year-old Colorado woman proved that Vin Diesel isn’t the only action star capable of putting the pedal to the metal and making a very sincere attempt to outrun the cops.
The action worthy of any Hollywood stunt driver involved Fort Collins, Colorado, resident Karen Denise Deselms as she sped westward along Highway 246, the thoroughfare connecting U.S. I-5 and U.S. 101.
Perhaps unaware that the undivided Highway 246 is heavily patrolled 24/7 by units of the California Highway Patrol pursuant to its decades-long reputation as “blood alley”, Deselms’ Toyota Tacoma pickup truck quickly became the subject of law enforcement interest as it exceeded the posted speed limit at approximately 4:00 a.m.
According to CHP spokesman Ofcr Jonathan Gutierrez, a CHP patrol “attempted a traffic stop” which only inspired Deselms’ to accelerate even more. At that point, the pursuit was on, with Deselms “straddling traffic lanes at speeds up to 120 mph, disregarding traffic laws” throughout.
The fleeing Toyota eventually turned north on U.S. 101, traveling at high rates of speed for some 50 miles, eventually leaving the freeway just north of the Santa Barbara city limits and careening down local streets.
Gutierrez reported that “the Toyota then ran a stop sign” at over 60 mph and “attempted to make a high-speed turn” but failed in that effort and “went off the roadway and came to a complete stop,” whereupon CHP officers made contact with Deselms and promptly took her into custody.
It was determined that Deselms was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and was then transported to Santa Barbara County Jail where she was booked on felony charges of recklessly evading a police officer, with her bail set at $20,000.
Photo: Courtesy Santa Barbara County Jail Booking