The Washington State Patrol is using Cessna aircraft from its fleet to catch speeding drivers who don’t stop for troopers on the ground. COURTESY FILE PHOTO, State Patrol

The Washington State Patrol is using Cessna aircraft from its fleet to catch speeding drivers who don’t stop for troopers on the ground. COURTESY FILE PHOTO, State Patrol

State Patrol uses aircraft in Kent to catch speeding drivers

Two incidents May 27 along northbound State Route 167

The Washington State Patrol used its aviation section to help make a couple of arrests of drivers in Kent reportedly speeding and eluding troopers after attempted traffic stops.

Both incidents were just after 1 a.m. May 27 on northbound State Route 167 near South 212th Street in Kent, according to a State Patrol press release.

In the first incident, a Pontiac G8 fled from an attempted traffic stop on northbound SR 167. State Patrol aircraft, a Cessna based out of the Olympia Airport, followed as the vehicle at it took the exit to South 180th Street, where it got caught up in traffic allowing the ground units to contact the vehicle.

Troopers arrested the driver for investigation of felony eluding and arrested the 17-year-old passenger for investigation of illegal possession of a handgun.

In the second incident, two Infiniti sedans were observed at a high rate of speed northbound on SR 167 approaching Interstate 405, according to the State Patrol. State Patrol aircraft located and followed one of the vehicles and began communicating with the ground units on the direction of travel.

The Infiniti continued northbound on I-405 to westbound Interstate 90 at times turning all lights off and driving in an extremely reckless manner even though there was no pursuit, according to the State Patrol. State Patrol aircraft followed the vehicle all the way to southbound Interstate 5 then the West Seattle Freeway into West Seattle where the car was abandoned in an alley.

Ground units were guided to the area and were able to place the driver and passenger that fled on foot into custody.

“These two incidents display the use of the aviation section of the Washington State Patrol as paramount to holding suspects accountable that choose to flee from law enforcement,” according to a State Patrol statement. “This creates the safest way possible to reach the goal of safety for all and create a deterrent for this illegal and unsafe behavior. The communication and coordination between the aircraft, WSP District 2/King County ground units and local law enforcement partners allows for this accountability and will continue.”

On May 10, troopers recovered four stolen vehicles in King County, including two in Kent, one with the assistance of the agency’s aircraft unit.

On April 28, the State Patrol used its Cessna aircraft to help troopers on the ground crack down on illegal street racing and vehicles fleeing from traffic stops in South King County, including Kent, Auburn and the Southcenter area. Troopers made several arrests.

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