A state trooper ended a chase down Milton Avenue on Friday night by driving into the fleeing car in what is called a “pursuit intervention technique.”
No injuries were reported.
Driver Camika M. Wortham, 34, of 222 N. Franklin St. No. 103, Janesville, was later charged with third-offense intoxicated driving and fleeing a traffic officer.
The incident began around 9:44 p.m. when a Rock County sheriff’s deputy saw the car headed south on Milton Avenue toward Highway 14 without its headlights on, according to the criminal complaint.
The car’s headlights then came on, and it almost hit stopped vehicles at the intersection, according to the complaint.
When the traffic lights turned green, the car didn’t move, and traffic moved around it, with some honking horns.
Then the car continued south on Milton Avenue, and the deputy got behind it. He turned on his emergency lights and saw it drifting out of its lane, almost hitting other vehicles and hitting the median, according to the complaint.
The deputy turned on his siren, and the car sped away from him and hit a vehicle stopped in traffic between Lodge and Holiday drives, according to the complaint.
The car stopped. The deputy got out, knocked on the tinted window, and the car moved backward and then sped south again, according to the complaint.
Officers from Janesville, the sheriff’s office and the State Patrol joined in the chase with emergency lights and sirens as the car sped south at speeds of up to 55 mph, according to the complaint.
The car turned east on Centerway and slowed to about 30 mph near Harding Street. The trooper performed the maneuver, and officers surrounded the vehicle so it could no longer move and performed a “high-risk traffic stop,” according to the complaint.
The pursuit intervention technique, also called the PIT maneuver, involves making contact with the fleeing car and turning sharply, causing the car to go into a spin.
Wortham got out of the car, appearing unsteady and smelling of alcohol, according to the complaint.
Officers reported finding a nearly empty bottle of brandy and two travel bottles in the car.
Wortham’s previous intoxicated-driving convictions were in 2009 and 2011, according to the complaint.
She told an officer at the Rock County Jail that she would kill herself when her handcuffs were removed, according to the complaint, so she was seen by a doctor before being returned to the jail and placed on suicide watch, according to the complaint.
Wortham was released on a signature bond after her initial court appearance Monday and was ordered not to drive without a valid drivers license and to maintain absolute sobriety until her case concludes.