Two small children in the car were unharmed

by: MARION COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - Marion County deputies arrested a Tigard man after he was clocked at 109 miles per hour down Interstate 5 on SundayMarion County authorities have arrested a Tigard man over the weekend for driving 109 miles-per-hour down Interstate 5 with two small children unsecured in the backseat.

Jeff Lyell Bankston, 24, was allegedly traveling erratically along Interstate 5 on Sunday with a 2-year-old girl and 5-year-old boy in the backseat.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office first noticed the speeding driver just north of Woodburn, when the man — driving a 2004 Subaru Impreza — blew past an unmarked patrol car in the southbound lanes of the interstate at about 12:30 p.m.

BankstonThe unmarked car followed and, according to Marion County Deputy Ryan Postlewait, the driver sped erratically through the moderately heavy afternoon traffic.

According to Postlewait, the driver sped by vehicles, changed lanes frequently and tailgated others until the cars moved out of his way.

The driving was so unpredictable, the deputy said, that startled drivers stepped on their brakes when the car drove past them, nearly causing several crashes.

At one point, Postlewait said, the driver of the Subaru challenged the unmarked patrol car to a race, slowing down and speeding up several times before speeding off.

Postlewait clocked the driver at 109 mph as he sped away, Marion County deputies said Monday.

The deputy performed a traffic stop near Keizer, where Postlewait reportedly found the 5-year-old boy unrestrained in the backseat and a 2-year-old girl improperly secured in a child’s safety seat.

The way the girl was secured made the seatbelts “totally ineffective,” deputies said.

The driver, who deputies later identified as Bankston, gave little explanation for his driving, but reportedly told the deputy he had recently installed a turbo charger in the car.

The children were released into the custody of their mother, who was in the car at the time, deputies said. Bankston was lodged at the Marion County Jail on charges of reckless driving and reckless endangerment.

He was also cited for several infractions, including speeding, changing lanes erratically, following too closely and seatbelt violations.

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