The driver of a stolen car that crashed near Hume School as she tried to escape police has been arrested.
Sgt. Brian Weber of the Nelson Police Department told the Star that Acting Sgt. Lisa Schmidtke, a drug recognition expert, was leaving a gym Monday morning when she spotted a suspicious female driver in a grey Dodge Charger.
Later at work, Schmidtke was alerted by Castlegar RCMP that a car matching the same make and model had been stolen. She located the car herself and instigated a chase when she turned on her lights.
Weber said Schmidtke ended the pursuit when the car began to drive erratically. The car continued along High Street and crashed next to Hume School, which startled a class of students who were outside at the time.
The car left the city via the Nelson Bridge, which led to a police road block of the bridge that limited traffic.
Nelson police and RCMP searched for the car on the North Shore, and help from numerous witnesses led to the Six Mile area.
A witness told police the Charger sped up Six Mile Road. Weber said Nelson Police Chief Const. Paul Burkart, driving an unmarked vehicle, followed a small trail and located the Charger.
“[Burkart] saw rustling in the brush,” said Weber. “He was able to call out to the person asking if they needed a ride. They came out of the brush and approached. He identified himself as a police officer and took a woman into custody.”
Weber said officers also located “a rudimentary camp” the woman had been staying at.
The driver has not yet been identified and charges are still pending.
Weber said he also spoke to the Hume students who witnessed the crash and were upset by the incident.
“[We’re] not very happy this driver crashed this car at high speed at an elementary school in Nelson,” he said.