Suspect rams sheriff's cruiser during pursuit
Late Saturday morning, a Yavapai Sheriff's deputy spotted a yellow Datsun 280Z slide out of control while taking a corner at Western Drive and Village Drive in Verde Village. The deputy attempted to stop the car, but the driver sped away.
According to the report, the driver ran a red light at Western Drive and Highway 260 and entered the neighborhood on the west side of the highway. The driver lost control of the car on Cochise Drive as it spun out and came to rest facing the patrol vehicle. The deputy got out of his cruiser and the driver put his hands in the air. When the deputy told him to turn off his car, the driver took hold of the wheel, backed out and back onto the highway and the deputy again gave chase.
As the Datsun approached Prairie Lane and SR 260, the driver lost control in the construction zone, taking out several lighted barriers and nearly colliding with two civilian vehicles before going over a drop off on the side of the road.
The Datsun driver again accelerated his vehicle and began driving the wrong way on the state highway. The Datsun crashed into a sheriff's vehicle head-on. Both vehicles were immediately disabled.
Deputies removed a 23-year-old Cottonwood man, William Gundelach, from the vehicle while he allegedly continued to resist arrest and verbally threatened the deputies. Gundelach was charged with assault on a peace officer, fleeing a peace officer, threatening to cause injury, and four counts of endangerment. Gundelach was also charged with driving on a suspended license resulting from a prior DUI conviction.
The deputy sustained an ankle injury as a result of the collision. The suspect received non-life threatening upper body and head injuries. He was taken to a Phoenix hospital for treatment.