Centralia Man Jailed After Crashing Vehicle on I-5, Stealing Car and Crashing Again After Chase


A Centralia man is facing criminal charges after he allegedly crashed his vehicle on Interstate 5 near Joint Base Lewis-McChord, forced a woman out of her car and stole that vehicle, then led state troopers on a chase that ended when he crashed into a third vehicle while traveling the wrong way down I-5 north of Everett. 

Elidu O. Mendozapinal, 27, was reportedly driving a Chevrolet Silverado on the left shoulder of southbound I-5 when he suddenly came to a stop across two lanes of traffic near milepost 120 and allegedly forced Tamara R. Bellisle, of Shelton, out of her vehicle, a Toyota Prius, before stealing the Prius and taking off, according to a Washington State Patrol report. 

Mendozapinal is accused of driving the Prius southbound on Interstate 5 before turning around near mile marker 109 and getting onto northbound Interstate 5 and fleeing from Washington State Patrol troopers who attempted to pull him over for speeding. 

A pursuit ensued through Pierce, King and Snohomish counties, coming to an end after Mendozapinal, who was driving the wrong way on southbound Interstate 5, crashed the Prius into a Chevrolet Colorado just north of mile marker 200. 

Mendozapinal was taken into custody and faces charges for theft of a motor vehicle, reckless driving and driving under the influence. 

No injuries were reported. The Silverado and the Prius had to be towed but the Colorado was driven from the scene.