Stolen medical van slams into tree during police chase

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by By ERICA HEARTQUIST / KGW

KTVB.COM

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:34 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 14 at 11:53 AM

FOREST GROVE, Ore. - A man faces several charges after police said he stole a van delivering medical supplies and then led officers on a chase throughout Forest Grove early Wednesday morning.

The incident started around 1 a.m., near Tuality Forest Grove Hospital and ended South of Highway 26. Police arrested Thomas White, 24, at the end of the incident. He jumped into a van parked outside the facility after it was parked and left running, while the driver of the truck was inside the building delivering medical supplies, said Sgt. Arnold Forest with Forest Grove Police.

When the driver came back outside, the van was gone and there was a bike where it had been.

Officers spotted the van and that's "when White nearly rammed into an officer," said Sgt. Forest.

Officers took off after White and tried unsuccessfully to get him to stop using spike strips.

White was well ahead of police before he eventually crashed into a tree and flipped near NW Susbauer and NW Zion Church Road, said Sgt. Forest.

It is the second time in two weeks officers have dealt with White in a stolen vehicle case and a chase ensued, said Sgt. Forest. He is facing unauthorized use of a vehicle, theft, reckless driving and criminal mischief charges.

"It is unclear if he'll face charges for nearly ramming the Forest Grove officer," said Sgt. Forest.

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