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Beer-can racer eludes, crashes into tanker

Law enforcement officers often put down spike strips to flatten the tires of vehicles whose drivers are attempting to elude capture.

And the strips usually work. But it is not very often that a speeding driver being chased by a sheriff's deputy is stopped by a fuel tanker.

That happened last Wednesday, Oct. 26, on Highway 26 near Vista Loop Drive on Highway 26.

The driver of a 1991 Hyundai sedan, Andrew D. Nelson, 51, Sandy, was allegedly speeding near Brightwood, and a Clackamas County sheriff's deputy began to pursue the westbound vehicle.

During the chase on Highway 26, Nelson threw a beer can out of the car's window, the report said.

Assisting in the attempt to stop the vehicle before it entered an area with slow-moving vehicles and pedestrians, an Oregon State Police trooper placed spike strips near Vista Loop Drive.

When Nelson approached the strips, he must have known they were there because he swerved to avoid them but lost control of the vehicle.

The vehicle hit a curb and crossed the highway, crashing into the side of a fuel tanker and trailer whose driver had been alerted and was parked alongside the highway.

Nelson, who was described as having non-life-threatening injuries, was transported to Legacy Emanuel Hospital and Health Center by ground ambulance. The fuel tanker driver was not injured.

During the investigation, more beer cans were discovered inside the vehicle Nelson was driving. A report from a sheriff's department spokesperson said investigators believe Nelson was driving under the influence of alcohol.

A records check proved that Nelson's driving privileges had been revoked. In addition to that charge, Nelson will be charged with attempting to elude.

Further records checking showed that Nelson also had a warrant for his arrest for a probation violation on a conviction for disorderly conduct.

Conducting the investigation were Oregon State Police troopers and Clackamas County sheriff's deputies.

Sandy police and the Oregon Department of Transportation assisted with traffic control during the afternoon incident.

Highway 26 was reduced to one lane of travel in each direction, which slowed traffic considerably.