Man suffers major injuries evading police
A Colusa man wanted on a warrant for a felony parole violation suffered life-threatening injuries when he was thrown from his car as it rolled off Highway 45 near Harbison Road on Thursday, the California Highway Patrol reported.
Phillip C. Savala was airflighted to Enloe Medical Center in Chico, where he was listed in critical condition Friday, the CHP said.
The car came to rest on its wheels in a nearby field.
Savala was a passenger in a car on Reese Avenue, east of Highway 45, when the driver suddenly stopped and ran toward a Colusa County sheriff's patrol in the area, the Sheriff's Department reported.
The deputy stopped to make contact when he noticed a person "hiding" in the back seat of the car.
Savala then jumped into the driver's seat and took off. As he passed the deputy, he was recognized as someone wanted on a parole violation for skipping out on a court-ordered drug rehabilitation program, Officer Kristin Murphy of the Williams CHP office said.
Savala turned south on Highway 45 and, according to law enforcement reports, passed a couple of cars before coming up on slower traffic near Harbison.
Murphy said Savala apparently began to pass that vehicle, but there was oncoming traffic, so he swerved back into the southbound lane and went off the highway.
The wheels of the car dug into the soft mud and the car began to roll. Savala was thrown from the vehicle, Murphy said. The accident occurred about 11 a.m.
Reports that Savala was being chased by law enforcement at the time of the accident are not true.
Savala had been sent to the rehabilitation program by the Colusa County Superior Court after he had pled no contest to a charge of assault on a peace officer.
Originally, Savala was arrested on July 5 on suspicion of attempted murder of a police officer after he twice rammed a CHP cruiser while trying to evade law enforcement in an almond orchard west of Arbuckle.
Savala was wanted on a warrant for domestic violence when that chase began.
He entered his no contest plea in late August. When he left the rehab program was uncertain.
Savala was scheduled to be back in court on Feb. 14 to provide a progress report on his rehabilitation program.
In other related-news:
• A Stonyford man suffered major injuries after he allowed his Ford F-150 pickup to veer into the center median from northbound Interstate 5, crossed the southbound lanes and crashed into a guardrail of the Maxwell overpass, the CHP reported.
The guardrail broke, and the truck went airborne off the overhead, landing in a field and overturned, the CHP said.
Greg Denney, 55, was airlifted to Enloe Medical Center following the 2:10 p.m. crash. A condition update was not available,
• An Arbuckle man who had evaded sheriff's deputies early Thursday, was arrested in the early morning hours of Friday with the help of a CHP helicpoter, which spotted the suspect's car at about 2 a.m.
Nicholas Ericksen, 18, who was wanted on a warrant for a parole violation, was the passenger in a vehicle stopped by CHP and sheriff's units near College City and Tule roads.
Erickson, who has a history of violence involving law enforcement, reportedly fled on foot and was apprehended about 50 yards into a nearby field.