A Union Gap man is accused of leading a Yakima County sheriff’s deputy on a high-speed chase that ended when his car crashed on a roundabout Thursday afternoon.
Describing Diego Armando Gil-Robles’ driving as “horrendous,” Yakima County Superior Court Judge Richard Bartheld put him on pretrial release Friday and ordered him to check in with court staff and not have any more traffic violations.
“While this may make you look like a bad guy to your friends, it puts other people at risk,” Bartheld told Gil-Robles, who was arrested in suspicion of eluding and reckless endangerment.
A deputy saw the 22-year-old man driving east on U.S. Highway 12 at a high rate of speed, kicking up dust from the shoulder, according to a probable cause affidavit. The deputy clocked Gil-Robles at 95 mph in a 60-mph zone, the affidavit said.
When the deputy tried to stop him, Gil-Robles passed several vehicles on the right before getting off on North 16th Avenue, the affidavit said.
Gil-Robles, the deputy wrote in his affidavit, was driving about 70 mph as he went down North 16th Avenue and on to Fruitvale Boulevard, passing other vehicles on the right and almost causing crashes.
As the deputy was about to break off the pursuit for safety reasons, Gil-Robles’ car took the turn at the North Fifth Avenue roundabout too fast and hit the curb, disabling the car, the affidavit said.
Gil-Robles and his two passengers were not injured, the affidavit said. His girlfriend told the deputy that Gil-Robles thought he could outrun the deputy and get into Yakima before he caught up with him, the affidavit said.
“You are lucky to be alive,” Bartheld told the woman, who attended Gil-Robles’ preliminary appearance hearing Friday.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Heather Thorn sought to have Gil-Robles held in lieu of $25,000 bail noting his multiple traffic infraction convictions and his history of driving recklessly.
“Your driving record is horrible,” Bartheld told Gil-Robles during the hearing.
“Yes, it is horrible,” Gil-Robles said. “I’ve tried to keep my record clean. I regret it, I should not be here.”
Bartheld told Gil-Robles he shouldn’t say anything more, as it was on the court record and could be used against him if the case goes to trial.