Public Safety

High speed chase ends in I-80 crash on New Year's Day

Patrol: Chase involved stolen car, suspects throwing clothes and Xbox out the window

An Iowa State Patrol squad car. (Gazette file photo)
An Iowa State Patrol squad car. (Gazette file photo)

A high-speed chase through three counties ended Tuesday morning in a crash on Interstate 80 west of Tiffin.

Daisha Gonzales, 26, and Demirr Houke, 29, both of Cedar Rapids, were taken to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for non-life threatening injuries after the crash about 9:30 a.m., Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Michael McCormick said Wednesday.

The chase started in Hiawatha, where police spotted a 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo reported stolen from Benton County, McCormick said. From there, the Monte Carlo sped south on Interstate 380, driving at speeds of up to 120 mph and skirting a set of stop sticks the patrol had set up near the North Liberty exit, he said.

During the chase, Gonzales and Houke threw items, including clothing and an Xbox gaming system, out the windows of the car, McCormick said.

Gonzales, who was driving, went west on I-80, where officers put out another set of stop sticks near the exit for Highway 151, McCormick said. She tried to drive around those but lost control of the car and drove into the median barrier cable, he said.

Both westbound lanes were shut down for a short time as UI’s AirCare helicopter landed on the Highway 151 bridge to pick up one passenger. The other was transported by ground ambulance, McCormick said.

Gonzales faces charges of possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of methamphetamine, eluding law enforcement and driving while barred. Charges against Houke are pending, McCormick said.

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