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By KYLE McCLELLAN Western News Reporter
The driver of a speeding vehicle careened across Libby streets and past several pedestrians, including a couple pushing a baby stoller, in an attempt to evade police, according to Roger Guches, a sargeant with Lincoln County Sheriff's Office.
At about 7:40 p.m. Friday, sheriff's deputy John Graham attempted to pursue the driver, who he estimated was traveling 80 mph as she headed west into town on U.S Highway 2 near the Heritage Museum.
Driver Margean Orr, 48, of Kennewick, Wash., then turned on Minnesota Avenue, Fifth Street and Hall Road with her horn blaring.
Graham then saw a plume of dust and debris. The vehicle had rolled into a field and landed upright.
"Maybe they couldn't decide what to do, to go right or left, and they went out into that field and tumbled," Guches said.
Graham approached the vehicle and determined the driver was not a threat to his safety.
Orr was unconscious and bleeding from the head, according to Graham.
"She was messed up," Guches said.
At that rate of speed and given the presence of pedestrians, Guches said Graham had to decide whether to continue the pursuit. After Orr flew by an on-duty security officer standing near the street, Graham decided to back off.
"Am I chasing this guy making him go fast, or, if I back off will they back off in turn," Guches said of Graham's decision.
Robert Johnson, the security officer, said he heard a big roar as the car flew by him.
"I thought, 'Uh-oh, it's a vehicle in an emergency trying to get to the hospital,'" Johnson said. "I turned to look down the street to see the couple with the stroller. But they heard the horn."