A 71-year-old woman led police and state troopers on a high-speed chase down Interstate 87, hitting two police cars and injuring three officers before finally stopping.
Laura A. Duffy of Willow, New York, was wanted for fleeing a traffic stop on Christmas Eve, NBC News reported. Officers from Ulster County went to her home on Dec. 31 to serve her with an arrest warrant but she was not there.
Police spotted Duffy five miles from home traveling on Route 212 through the town of Woodstock. They began their pursuit around 8:30 p.m., the Times Herald-Record reported.
Duffy saw the police and fled, leading local officers on a half-hour chase before finally losing them.
Local police then issued a BOLO alert (Be On The Lookout) for Duffy’s 2017 Hyundai Accent.
New York state troopers spotted Duffy driving south on Interstate 87 (sometimes called the New York Thruway,) traveling through the town of Newburgh, at 9:13 p.m. They immediately began following the fugitive.
But Duffy again refused to pull over.
Troopers pursued Duffy again, this time at high speeds for more than half an hour, reaching what the State Police called “excessive speeds.” Finally, officers were able to deploy spike strips which flattened both passenger-side tires.
Despite having two flat tires, Duffy still refused to stop. She pulled off the Thruway into the Rampano Service area where she rammed two State Trooper vehicles.
After hitting the police cars, Duffy returned to the highway and tried to continue her flight but her car—now with two flat right-side tires and damage to the front left corner form the collision—finally failed her. She came to a halt on the ramp at Exit 15A in Rampano.
The would-be fugitive was placed under arrest at 9:48 p.m., according to the Daily Freeman.
In all, the hour plus, 34-mile chase passed through two counties—Ulster and Rockland—and more than half a dozen small towns before ending almost at the New Jersey border.
Troopers initially took Duffy to the Tarrytown State Police barracks where emergency medical technicians evaluated her. She refused medical treatment.
Three troopers sustained minor injuries during the collisions in the service area. They were taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, New York, treated, and released. The nature of the injuries was not specified.
News12 reported that two of the three injured officers remained on sick leave as of Jan. 3.
Duffy showed no signs of impairment due to drugs or alcohol, and was not charged with impaired driving. No word has been released about a possible reason for her deciding to try to evade the police on Dec. 24 or Dec. 31.
After refusing medical treatment, Duffy was taken to the Rockland County Correctional Facility and charged with multiple crimes, including second-degree assault and second-degree criminal mischief, felonies; misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment, obstructing governmental administration, unlawfully fleeing a police officer and resisting arrest; and disorderly conduct, a violation. She was also issued numerous traffic citations.
Duffy was assessed $25,000 bail and remanded but bonded out on Jan. 3, News12 reported. Her next court appearance is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Jan. 7 in Ramapo Town Court.
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