CHP officer dragged by motorist, driver arrested

The driver of a Jeep that dragged a California Highway Patrol officer 1,000 feet on eastbound I-80 on Friday evening was arrested and booked on an attempted murder charge.

CHP motorcycle officer K. Spears suffered minor injuries in the incident from which he is recovering, according to a statement released by CHP on Saturday afternoon.

The suspect, identified as 34-year-old Kristine Wade from Pittsburgh, Calif., was booked into San Francisco County Jail on a list of charges that include attempted murder and child endangerment.

“We believe there is an element for attempted murder,” said CHP spokesperson Officer Vu Williams. “We have recommended those charges to the District Attorney.”

The incident occurred when Spears stopped the red Jeep occupied by Wade, two adult passengers and a child at approximately 5:05 p.m. on Friday. Wade allegedly presented the officer with an identification card that was not issued to her, after which Spears ordered Wade to exit the vehicle, according to CHP officials.

Spears followed Wade as she walked back to her car to open the driver’s side door. Wade then entered the Jeep and accelerated in an attempt to flee the scene.

Spears, in trying to gain control of Wade, remained partially inside the car as she fled, reaching a speed of up to 40 mph. Wade then turned the vehicle to the left and “side swiped a white Honda Civic as Spears was hanging outside the driver’s side door,” according to CHP officials.

The struggle continued for approximately a quarter mile, until the fleeing vehicle rear-ended another vehicle. According to CHP officials, Wade continued to accelerate until Spears succeeded in forcing “the steering wheel to the right,” causing the right front wheel of the Jeep to collide with the concrete bridge rail. The impact broke the Jeep’s front axle, disabling the car.

Several CHP San Francisco Officers responded to the scene and arrested Wade. Spears was transported from the scene to San Francisco General Hospital for treatment, but has since been released.

The Jeep’s other adult passengers were released, and the child was turned over to Child Protective Services. CHP officials said that Wade has three outstanding warrants in Contra Costa County.

lwaxmann@sfexaminer.com

Laura Waxmann
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Laura Waxmann

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