A suspected car thief pursued by a California Highway Patrol officer slammed into an oncoming vehicle Friday afternoon on Highway 20 near Ukiah.
The CHP said Robert Gardener, 28, of Ukiah was spotted driving west on Highway 20 shortly after 1 p.m. in a stolen 1994 blue Honda Accord. A CHP officer reported Gardener was passing westbound traffic by crossing double yellow lines into eastbound traffic lanes, according to a CHP news release.
Gardener did not stop when the CHP officer activated his car’s lights and siren, the release said. At 1:07 p.m., Gardener crossed the double yellow lines into oncoming traffic and attempted to completely cross the two eastbound lanes to reach the road’s south shoulder.
The Accord crashed into a 2004 Nissan Murano driven by 18-year-old Skyler Kuykendall of Laytonville. Kuykendall suffered minor to moderate injuries, but Gardener’s injuries were described as major, the CHP said.
Both were taken to Ukiah Valley Medical Center.
The Accord was first reported stolen in Lucerne at 7:11 a.m.
Gardener was arrested on suspicion of possessing a stolen vehicle and driving under the influence of drugs and causing injuries.
You can reach Staff Writer Martin Espinoza at 521-5213 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @renofish.