Police are still looking for a woman who they say drove the wrong way on the interstate, leading them on a dangerous chase.
"It's deadly," said Sgt. Steve Noblitt with the Colorado Springs Police Department. "You are putting yourself at risk and anybody else that happens to be on the roadway."
Police have released the following chain of events from the incident, which occurred early Sunday morning:
CSPD officers were dispatched to the area of I-25 and Fillmore Ave for a SUV traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of I-25 on Sunday around 3:30 a.m. Officers spotted the vehicle, a dark-colored Kia Sportage, at Tejon and I-25 still traveling south in the northbound lanes. Officers estimated the driver’s speeds were between 40-90 mph. Officers drove parallel to the suspect in southbound lanes with emergency lights and sirens but she continued to drive south in the north bound lanes. One of the officers drove past her and as he did so, she looked directly at him. Officer Ireland attempted to limit traffic getting onto northbound I-25 from S. Academy as Officer Maxson continued to drive next to the suspect vehicle. Officer Maxson stopped paralleling the suspect at S. Circle Drive because the suspect blacked out her headlights for about 30 seconds.
Several near accidents occurred between Fillmore Ave and S. Academy. Between S. Academy Blvd and the Fountain exit, the suspect made a U-Turn and drove north in the northbound lanes. Officers observed that she was driving the posted speed limit with moderate weaving. Per the Duty Lieutenant, no traffic stop was initiated due to the previous safety concerns.
"At that point, we felt to continue to engage her would cause her to do even more unpredictable behavior and cause more of a danger to the public," said Sgt. Noblitt. "We feel pretty helpless. There's not a lot you can do because it's happening so fast."
Police say their investigation has lead them to identify the driver as Rachell Schurle, age 25. Police say they've contacted her parents, who stated she moved out and would not give her new address to police. Schurle is currently wanted for seven traffic violations including Reckless Driving, Roadways Laned for Traffic and Driving When Lighted Lamps Required.
"We've seen these types of crashes happen and they have resulted in innocent lives lost," said Sgt. Noblitt.
People in the community are reacting to the decision by police to call off the pursuit.
"I think we need to put our trust in their judgment," said Sheilagh Carpenter. "Given that you could run her plates and track her down later."
"It wouldn't make sense to stop her, no reason to. It's safer for the public to let her go on," said Scott Franks.
"Anytime you've got people endangered on the road, the police need to do something. Not taking action is probably not the best thing to do," said Jesse Perez.
If anyone has information on Schurle’s whereabouts you are encouraged to call CSPD at 444-7000 or if you would like to remain anonymous you can call Crime Stoppers at 634-STOP or use text TIP411 at www.springspolice.com. Thank you for any assistance
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