A couple that led authorities on a high-speed chase Tuesday afternoon found themselves caught between a rock and a hard place – law enforcement ahead of them and behind.
The driver has been identified as Ayla Alexandria Keller, 30, and the passenger as Ronald Welden. The two were traveling on Sparta Street in a gold Kia SUV when the pursuit began.
“When the vehicle passed, I observed the passenger cover his face with his arms,” said Warren County Sheriff’s deputy Brystol Davis. “Due to this, I turned around to run the tag on the vehicle to see if I could identify the passenger. Once I turned around, I observed the vehicle had already begun to speed up.”
Keller took Walling, North Spring, Locust, Lind, Garfield, West Main and West Colville streets.
Other Warren County deputies and McMinnville Police officers responded and swarmed the area.
Keller took Highland Drive from West Colville Street. After passing Riverview Terrace Assisted Living, she took the curve onto George Huggins Drive. At the intersection of George Huggins Drive and South High Street were law enforcement vehicles blocking the vehicle’s path.
Keller turned into a grassy area and both suspects fled on foot.
“The female driver was located a short time later lying in a thick weed patch near a tree,” said Davis. “When asked why she ran she said because she didn’t go to court on some charges she had. It was found she was wanted for failure to appear. A check of her driver’s license was conducted and found that it was also suspended.”
According to the report, Welden was also believed to be wanted for failure to appear.
Both Keller and Welden have been charged with evading arrest. The vehicle chase and foot pursuit lasted 15 to 20 minutes, ending at 2:30 p.m.