A 28-year-old Fairbanks woman who reportedly crashed into a vehicle and injured four people during a high-speed chase on the Parks Highway on Sunday afternoon is being held at Fairbanks Correctional Center on $10,000 bail.
Kyianna Amber Rhodes is charged with five counts of third-degree assault, first-degree vehicle theft and two counts of failure to stop at the direction of a peace officer. All are class C felonies punishable by up to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine.
Rhodes is also charged with leaving the scene of an accident and two counts of reckless driving, all misdemeanors.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Fairbanks court Monday, Fairbanks police first contacted Rhodes at approximately 10:30 a.m. Sunday for a mental health issue. Rhodes was behaving erratically, admitted to using methamphetamine the night before and agreed to go with EMS to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital.
About an hour later, a woman called police to report someone stole her 2012 Ford Expedition after she left it running in the hospital parking lot. Police viewed surveillance footage of the theft and recognized Rhodes from their previous contact with her. An officer went to Rhodes’ Lacey Street home and pulled his patrol vehicle behind the stolen Expedition after finding it parked out front. Rhodes ran outside, got in the Expedition, put it in reverse and slammed into the patrol car before fleeing the scene, according to the complaint.
The officer followed Rhodes as she headed south on Lacey at a high rate of speed. Rhodes lost control on 16th Avenue, hit a telephone pole and sustained heavy damage to the front of the Expedition. Rhodes was able to free the Expedition from the telephone pole and continued north on South Cushman. The officer lost sight of her after she turned east on Airport Way but police were able to catch up with her after a caller reported seeing her driving on the Old Richardson Highway near the Alaska Club.
Rhodes turned down Easy Street and west on Van Horn Road. She ran a red light at South Cushman, turned north on Peger Road and west on the Mitchell Expressway. Rhodes ran a red light at University Avenue and continued onto the Parks Highway at 80 mph. Alaska State Troopers deployed spike strips at Milepost 354, about one mile west of the Blue Loon, but Rhodes did not hit them. A second spike strip was deployed several miles east near the turn off to Ester.
Rhodes was driving approximately 85 mph when she collided with a Ford Escape at Mile 345.5. The back driver’s side passenger was pinned in the vehicle and had to be extricated by EMS. She was taken to FMH and treated for a fractured pelvis and fractured discs in her back. A male passenger sustained a cut on his forehead and he and the driver had extensive bruising on their arms, torsos and legs. A female passenger suffered a concussion and also had multiple bruises on her leg and arm, according to the complaint.
Contact staff writer Dorothy Chomicz at 459-7582. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMcrime.