Reckless Driver Crashes after Fleeing from Deputies
Spokane Valley Sheriff’s Deputies arrested 30-year-old Zachary J. Schackel after deputies tried to stop him for driving recklessly. Schackel crashed the vehicle he was driving striking another vehicle, a traffic signal controller and a power pole before fleeing on foot. After a foot pursuit, deputies arrested Schackel for Attempting to Elude a Police Vehicle (2 counts), Obstructing, Criminal Trespass 2nd Degree, Driving while Suspended 1st Degree-Habitual Offender, Driving Under the Influence Alcohol/Drugs and two warrants.
On November 19, 2016 at approximately 7:40 a.m., Spokane Valley Sheriff’s Deputy Byron Zlateff observed a black Chevy Malibu traveling east on Sprague as he exited the Spokane Valley Police Precinct. He estimated the Malibu’s speed at 55 to 60 mph in the posted 35 mph zone. Deputy Zlateff attempted to catch up to the speeding vehicle but it continued to pull further away.
The driver, later identified as Schackel, continued his reckless behavior by swerving around cars and running the red light at McDonald causing an extremely dangerous situation for other drivers on the roadway. In the area of Evergeen and Sprague, Deputy Zlateff caught up to Schackel and activated his emergency lights to conduct a traffic stop after witnessing Schackel swerve recklessly to avoid other vehicles. Schackel slowed down to approximately 20 mph and turned into the Safeway parking lot but failed to stop. He continued through the lot and entered back onto Sprague and accelerated rapidly to an estimated speed of 50 to 55 mph. Deputy Zlateff activated his siren and advised over the radio he was in pursuit.
At the intersection of Adams and Sprague, Schackel blew through the red light, narrowly missing northbound traffic. Fearing for the safety of drivers on the roadway due to Schackel’s obvious disregard for anyone’s safety, Deputy Zlateff terminated the pursuit. Schackel was last seen turning south on Sullivan from Sprague.
A few minutes later, Deputy Jay Bailey observed Schackel stopped at 4th and Sullivan, northbound at a red light. When Schackel noticed Deputy Bailey’s patrol car, he immediately accelerated, ran the red light and began to flee to Sprague. Deputy Bailey activated his emergency lights and siren in an attempt to stop Schackel. Just before Sprague, Schackel cut through a parking lot to avoid traffic and turned onto Sprague, eastbound. With Schackel’s extremely reckless and dangerous driving behavior, Deputy Bailey continued to pursue to warn the public on the roadway and hopefully stop Schackel before he hurt himself or other.
Schackel approached the red light at Conklin and Sprague but again, with complete and utter disregard for anyone’s safety, ignored the traffic light. He crashed into a northbound pickup truck, lost control and spun into a traffic light control box and a power pole on the southeast corner of the intersection. Schackel bailed out of the wrecked vehicle and fled on foot. He climbed the fence of a construction site and began to run. Deputy Bailey pulled up and Schackel stopped, put his hands in the air and said “I give up.” and was safely taken into custody.
Schackel exhibited signs of being under the influence of a stimulant or marijuana and appeared to be paranoid. Deputy Zlateff learned Schackel’s driving privileges were suspended 1st degree as a habitual offender and he had an active Washington State Department of Corrections Escape Community Custody warrant for his arrest. Schackel was transported to a local hospital for medical treatment. While at the hospital, Deputy Zlateff applied for, and was granted, a search warrant to obtain a sample of Schackel’s blood to continue the investigation for impaired driving.
After Schackel was medically cleared, he was transported and booked into the Spokane County Jail for Attempting to Elude a Police Vehicle (2 counts), Hit and Run Collision, Criminal Trespass 2nd Degree, Driving Under the Influence, Driving while Suspended 1st Degree-Habitual Offender, Obstructing Law Enforcement and the warrant.
The driver of the pickup Schackel hit received medical treatment for minor injuries.
The vehicle Schackel was driving was not his and he had permission to use it.
The cost to repair the traffic light control box was estimated at $30,000 and the damaged power pole was estimated at $20,000 to repair.