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Utah man behind bars after series of crashes

After causing four crashes between Portland and Warm Springs on Sunday, June 1, a Utah man is behind bars sporting a ghastly wound.

Leo James Elliott, 25, of Roy, Utah, faces allegations of driving under the influence of intoxicants, felony attempt to elude police in a vehicle, reckless driving and misdemeanor attempt to elude police on foot, said Lt. Gregg Hastings, Oregon State Police spokesman.

It began at about 1:40 p.m. when Portland's Bureau of Emergency Communications alerted Oregon State Police's northern command center that a red 2008 Dodge Ram pickup with Utah license plates was running from police in the Gresham area on eastbound Highway 26 following a hit-and-run crash. The truck was last seen eastbound at Milepost 27, just a few miles east of Sandy near Shorty's Corner. Police stopped the pursuit.

During the next 30 minutes, motorists called in numerous complaints of a speeding, reckless driver in a similar pickup heading eastbound near Government Camp on Highway 26. One caller reported the pickup running a vehicle off the road into a ditch about 15 miles east of Government camp near Milepost 68.

Then the truck came speeding upon an unrelated crash scene near Milepost 74, rear-ended a vehicle and injured a person. Warm Springs police, who were already investigating the Milepost 74 crash, chased after the truck eastbound at speeds topping 100 mph.

As the truck approached Warm Springs, one of the city's police officers deployed spike strips as the pickup sped through. The truck continued a short distance before losing control and crashing near Milepost 101 at about 2:30 p.m.

The pickup's driver ran down an embankment with police chasing him. After a mile-long foot chase, a Warm Springs officer captured the driver, identified as Elliott. He was transported by Warm Springs firefighters to Mountain View Hospital in Madras for medical treatment. There, officers from the Warm Springs Police Department took him into custody and lodged him at the Jefferson County Jail.