OKLAHOMA CITY – After a high-speed chase ended with a violent crash on a busy downtown street Thursday afternoon, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol is now answering questions about chase guidelines.
Troopers say there are not hard and fast guidelines on when they chase a suspect.
Instead, they have to weigh their options, asking themselves, ‘Is the suspect dangerous enough to put innocent people in harm’s way?’
Vicki Robbins, a victim in Thursday’s crash, said, “You’re chasing somebody in Bricktown? That’s crazy! It was a little after 4 o’clock in the afternoon. It’s busy right there.”
Robbins was sitting at the red light at Sheridan Ave. and Lincoln Blvd. on Thursday, with her granddaughter and puppy in the backseat.
That’s when 38-year-old Monte Webb’s red truck collided with her.
“It happened so fast, I didn’t know what to do,” says Robbins. “I couldn’t back up, I couldn’t do anything.”
She couldn’t believe a chase with speeds more than 100 miles per hour was coming straight for her SUV.
Lt. Brian Orr, with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, says, “When things like that happen, I mean obviously it’s never a good thing but we understand that that’s kind of the price of doing business sometimes.”
Lt. Orr says the highway patrol has to weigh their options and make a split second decision when a suspect takes off.
“Is it worth catching that guy or are we going to put people in danger?” says Orr. “This was a felon that needed to be off the roadway.”
Robbins asks, “What was worth catching this guy for?”
For troopers, multiple felony warrants out for Webb’s arrest was the reason behind the chase.
“It wasn’t worth it to me,” says Robbins. “It wasn’t worth it to my family, my life or anybody else’s life either.”
Robbins says she doesn’t care what he was wanted for; she thinks the troopers should have called off the pursuit.
She and her family have called a lawyer to take a closer look at the case.
“We’re just trying to make sure that things were done right because this shouldn’t have happened,” says Robbins. “Learn when to do something and when not to do something and when to stop.”
Orr says every chase they are involved in is evaluated, so if they need to make changes to that policy, they will.
Webb is now facing multiple charges, including felony eluding, DUI and reckless driving.
He is currently still in the Oklahoma County Jail.