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PASSENGER-TURNED-DRIVER JAILED AFTER 100-MPH CHASE.

Byline: Greg Botonis Staff Writer

LANCASTER - A passenger in a car that had been stopped for speeding slid behind the wheel and led California Highway Patrol officers on a 100-mph chase through Lancaster, officials said.

The chase early Tuesday ended after about 6 1/2 miles when the car couldn't negotiate a turn and hit a curb. The man ran but was quickly caught, officials said.

``As the officers were attempting to identify the driver, the passenger slid over and took off and the pursuit was on,'' said CHP Officer Rusty Moore.

Peter R. Galaviz, 23, of Lancaster was arrested on suspicion of driving without a license, evading police with disregard to public safety and on two earlier charges for which he had been wanted.

After Galaviz was arrested, officials learned there was a warrant out for his arrest for failure to pay a court-ordered fine and failure to appear at a scheduled court date.

His blood-alcohol level tested at .07 percent, below the .08 percent at which state law presumes a motorist is drunk, CHP officials said.

Officials said CHP officers initially stopped the 2000 Nissan driven by Kelli Sundquist, 21, of Lancaster for speeding on Avenue I at Sierra Highway about 1:45 a.m.

When Sundquist told them she had no identification, they asked her to step out of the car, officials said. While the officers were questioning her, the passenger slid over into the driver's seat and drove away.

The officers pursued the Nissan, with its headlights off, east on Avenue I at speeds around 100 mph. It eventually turned off Avenue I and onto westbound Avenue H without slowing.

The car veered into the eastbound lanes as it drove across Avenue H's railroad overpass, then continued west another mile to 10th Street West, officials said.

``At 10th Street West, Galaviz attempted to make a left turn and proceed southbound, but failed to negotiate the turn due to his unsafe speed and level of intoxication,'' a CHP report said.

After the car hit the curb, the driver got out and ran, but was captured after a short foot pursuit, officials said.

Galaviz was being held at the Inmate Reception Center in Los Angeles.

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jan 22, 2003
Words:374
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