Woman in custody after chase, fatal crash; sheriff defends pursuit policy

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock stands by his deputies’ decision to engage in a pursuit that ended in a deadly crash.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said 20-year-old Deanna Bixby was the driver of a black Mitsubishi that sped away from deputies on Wednesday morning.

She then crashed into a civilian’s vehicle at South Santa Fe Drive and West Mineral Avenue, killing two people.

Dashcam video released by the sheriff’s office shows the black vehicle going past deputies going northbound in the southbound lanes of Santa Fe.

Investigators believe Bixby and the driver of a silver Jeep Grand Cherokee were working together as part of a car theft ring.

Initially, the deputies lost sight of the black vehicle and say they were only chasing the Jeep. But the black vehicle returned and Spurlock said the driver was going too fast for deputies to keep up.

“I do not believe the chase caused the accident at all because we weren’t chasing that Mitsubishi,” Spurlock said Thursday. “We couldn’t even get close.

“We were so far away from that car, that car could have turned any direction and we would have lost it because we could barely see it.”

The dashcam video shows the pursuit ended when the Mitsubishi T-boned another vehicle at Santa Fe and Mineral, killing two people inside the vehicle.

The names of the victims have not been released.

Bixby was seriously injured but was taken into custody. The sheriff’s office is still looking for the driver of the Jeep. The vehicle was later found abandoned.

The Mitsubishi and the Jeep were reported stolen and seen together in a suspicious manner in the Castle Pines area about 2 a.m. Wednesday.

The sheriff’s office is conducting an administrative review on its chase policy and the actions of the deputies, something that is protocol.

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