Just after 2 a.m. July 23, a deputy with the Coos County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by a construction flagger at the intersection of Highway 101 and South Johnson Street in Coos Bay. The flagger pointed out a vehicle and told the deputy a construction flagger had nearly been hit when the vehicle did not stop for the stop flag.
Based upon that information, the deputy attempted to stop the vehicle. The vehicle failed to yield and proceeded north despite efforts to stop him. After a pursuit through Coos Bay and North Bend, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office successfully deployed spike strips in the Lakeside area. However, the vehicle still failed to yield continuing north bound until the pursuit was terminated due to safety concerns near Gardiner in Douglas County.
The driver was identified as 65-year-old Russell Surkamer. Surkamer had just been convicted of attempting to elude a police officer in Douglas County on June 26. Surkamer was arrested by the Florence Police Department and transported to the Coos County Jail alleging the crimes of attempting to elude a police officer, recklessly endangering a highway worker and reckless driving.
The Coos County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Coos Bay Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and Reedsport Police Department.