Man dies after leading police on a chase
A 33-year-old man led police on a high-speed chase last Saturday, only to end up dead after a crash and likely rollover in Woodburn.Pedro Hernandez Jr. began the final minutes of his life along Highway 99E between Oregon City and Canby at about 11:37 p.m. on Sept. 23.Lt. Jorge Tro of the Canby Police Department said a CPD officer noticed an old greenish BMW parked along Highway 99E southbound. The officer saw a male standing by the vehicle and, thinking the subject might need assistance, he wheeled around and pulled in behind the car."As the officer approached, he saw the male subject lift the car hood up," said Troj. "He then slammed it shut, flipped off the officer and jumped into his vehicle."And with that, Hernandez was off, cutting off a pair of vehicles traveling along Highway 99E southbound in the process. "He just took off onto Highway 99E at a high rate of speed," said Tro. "The officer also noticed he was throwing debris out of the car window."The Canby PD officer took off after the vehicle and before it was over, other Canby officers and Clackamas County Sheriff's deputies joined the chase that would lead them through Aurora, past Hubbard and into Woodburn, where it would quickly end."When he went through Hubbard, he was pulling away from officers, so they were probably more than a quarter-mile away when he was coming into Woodburn," said Tro.According to Tro, it looked like Hernandez had hit the median on the south side of the Highway 99E and Highway 211 intersection, lost control and crossed through northbound traffic before impacting a sign for the Jehovah's Witness church and rolling the car."Officers approached the car and found one subject behind the wheel, and he was deceased," said Tro.Hernandez had prior convictions for attempting to elude and stolen vehicles, and was a recent parolee from the Oregon Correctional Department. The car he was driving was not stolen, but Tro said officers did find drug paraphernalia in the car, including a meth pipe with residue in the bowl.The Oregon State Police have taken the lead in the investigation and police are still awaiting a report from the medical examiner and toxicology reports.