2 injured after high-speed pursuit ends in crash

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Grant County Sheriff’s Office/courtesy photo Two people were injured during a high speed pursuit in Moses Lake early Saturday morning.

MOSES LAKE — A convicted felon and his passenger were injured over the weekend after allegedly attempting to elude police and crashing their car near Moses Lake.

About 4 a.m. Saturday deputies spotted a 2006 BMW driven by Nicholas Romero Rivera, 29, of Moses Lake, who deputies recognized had been involved in an incident in Moses Lake earlier in the week. On Dec. 10 the suspect reportedly fled from Moses Lake officers after hitting his passenger and an officer with his car.

On Saturday Romero Rivera allegedly ran the Maple Drive/Stratford Road stop sign and a deputy attempted to pull the vehicle over as Romero Rivera, a convicted felon, took off heading north on Stratford Road at a high speed. The deputy ended the pursuit of the vehicle.

Moses Lake police spotted the vehicle a short time later near Road 7 Northeast and Road M Northeast, a few miles north of Moses Lake. Romero Rivera took off again and MLPD officers attempted to stop the BMW. Officers pursued Romero Rivera for a short time, until he “recklessly” fled the area and was last seen near Road N Northeast and Road 5 Northeast.

“During the pursuit, Romero Rivera shut off the BMW’s headlights, and Moses Lake police terminated the pursuit. Romero Rivera continued southbound on Road N Northeast. Romero Rivera lost control of the BMW as he approached Road 3 Northeast (aka Wheeler Road), and the car went airborne, then slid out of control until it tripped and rolled multiple times,” stated the sheriff’s office in a release.

Moses Lake firefighters were able to extract Romero Rivera, who received non-life threatening injuries, out of the BMW. Romero Rivera’s passenger, 22-year-old Celena Perez, received serious head injuries. Perez and Romero Rivera were taken to Samaritan Hospital in Moses Lake for treatment, but were later taken to a Spokane area hospital.

As of Saturday Romero Rivera was reported to be in stable condition, while Perez was reported to be in critical condition.

“Romero Rivera was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the collision. It’s not known if Perez was wearing her seatbelt at the time of the collision,” stated the sheriff’s office. “Moses Lake Police and the Sheriff’s Motor Traffic Unit is investigating. Excessive speed, alcohol and drugs are suspected to have contributed to this crash. Charges are pending against Romero Rivera.”

Richard Byrd can be reached via email at city@columbiabasinherald.com.

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