April 4, 2006
The woman charged with leading Louisa County deputies on a high speed car chase Saturday is undergoing psychiatric help. Officials say it's one of their strangest cases yet and was all caught on tape.
Officials say this woman wrecked her car on the highway then ran to a house close by, broke into the home, stole the owner's car, and then led deputies on a 20 minute case down the highway. From there, the story got even stranger.
Officials say by the time they began chasing a stolen Ford Explorer early Saturday morning, the driver, 31-year-old Christie Coates, had already blazed a trail of chaos--one she triggered with a 911 call.
"[She said] that she was driving down the road and she was being pursued by a male individual that was threatening to hurt her," said Major Donald Lowe of the Louisa County Sheriffs Office.
Within minutes of the call, Deputies say Coates crashed along Interstate-64 and took off towards a house nearby. She apparently broke in through the window and startled the homeowner who fired off two shots, but missed.
“Ms. Coates allegedly took a 1998 Ford Explorer from the residence and started off down Interstate 64 again," said Lowe.
Not long after that, Sheriff’s deputies spotted the stolen car and tried to pull Coates over. They chased her for miles down I-64 westbound.
"She made reference to a bomb being on the vehicle where she couldn't stop," said Lowe.
At one point the woman tried unsuccessfully to run the police cars off the road, but with the help of road blocks and spike strips, the 20-minute chase came to a close just pass the Shadwell exit. It was an ending to a nearly hour-long frenzy that has Louisa County officials still talking.
Officials add Coates is from New Jersey and there still not sure what she was doing in Louisa county. She faces multiple charges including DUI and attempted murder of a police officer.
No one was hurt and police say it appears no one was actually chasing the woman. Right now, she's undergoing a mental evaluation.