Contact: Sgt. Brad Williams
Address: 1352 Johnson Blvd. South Lake Tahoe, Ca. 96150
On Tuesday at about 5:00 pm, South Lake Tahoe Police Officers responded to SR 89 and 12th Street regarding a hit and run traffic collision in which a white Subaru station wagon struck a bicyclist traveling in the northbound bicycle lane. The bicyclist, 38-year-old Adam Rose, was riding his bicycle when the Subaru, also traveling northbound, swerved to the right and struck him causing major injuries. Rose was tended to by South Lake Tahoe Fire Department Paramedics until being transported from the scene to Renown Hospital by Care Flight. Rose is currently admitted to the intensive care unit of that facility.
After striking Rose the suspect driver of the Subaru fled eastbound on 12th Street, but was followed by a citizen who had witnessed the collision. The concerned witness called 911 while following the suspect away from the scene. The citizen kept police updated on the suspect vehicle location as they responded into the area. While fleeing the scene, the suspect driver was involved in a second collision, striking tree stumps off the side of the road near Tahoe Island and Tahoe Vista Avenues. When police officers arrived in the area they attempted to stop the vehicle by activating their red lights and sirens, but the suspect attempted to evade them until eventually becoming involved in yet a third collision at 2070 James, Bi-State Petroleum. The vehicle was finally forced to stop when it collided with, and impaled itself upon, steel and concrete posts in front of the petroleum warehouse. Not yet ready to give up, the driver of the Subaru, later identified as 54-year-old resident Christine Whalen, tried to run on foot, but was apprehended by the pursuing police officers.
Citizens who witnessed the collisions were instrumental in assisting police officers in locating the suspect, pointing out the directions of travel, and making positive identifications of the driver. Whalen was treated and released at Barton Hospital for minor injuries sustained in the collisions and then booked into the El Dorado County Jail on two felonies and three misdemeanor charges. The charges were suspicion of felony driving while under the influence, felony hit and run, misdemeanor hit and run, misdemeanor evading police officers, and misdemeanor obstructing, delaying or resisting arrest.
The investigation is continuing and anyone with information regarding this collision is encouraged to call the South Lake Tahoe Police Department, at (530) 542-6100.