Two Arrested After Pursuit Ends With Stolen Vehicle Bursting Into Flames Near Chehalis

By The Chronicle

A pursuit that started with an expired license plate tab in Chehalis early Friday morning ended with a stolen car engulfed in flames on Interstate 5, according to the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office. 

Driver Robert A. Wynn, 24, of Kalama, was arrested on suspicion of attempting to elude a police vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle and second-degree malicious mischief. 

Passenger Ryan L. Hicks, 24, of Oregon, was arrested on suspicion of attempting to elude, possession of a stolen vehicle and an outstanding warrant. 

According to the sheriff’s office, at 3:50 a.m. Friday, a deputy patrolling on Market Street in downtown Chehalis saw a 1994 Honda Civic with expired license tabs. The deputy ran the plate number and learned the vehicle had been reported stolen in Kalama. 

Deputies attempted to stop the vehicle, which fled south on Jackson Highway. While the driver was speeding away from chasing patrol vehicles, the passenger allegedly began throwing unknown items out of the car. 

The Honda continued south to state Route 508 and onto I-5. At that point, the passenger, Hicks, bailed out of the car and continued to run on foot. Deputies arrested him as the Washington State Patrol took over the pursuit, according to the sheriff’s office.

Troopers were able to stop the Honda. Shortly after the vehicle stopped and Wynn was arrested, the vehicle “became engulfed in flames,” Chief Deputy Dusty Breen said. It is unknown how the vehicle caught fire. Fire crews responded and extinguished the blaze. 

Both suspects were arrested and booked into the Lewis County Jail.