DUI suspect hits deputies' car, flees with child in back seat

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PRESCOTT VALLEY -- The following is a press release from the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office:

On March 10, 2009, at 2:30 A.M., Yavapai County Sheriff's Office deputies were traveling north in a fully marked patrol vehicle on Robert Road near Dana Drive in Prescott Valley. As they crested a hill section, the deputies saw a vehicle heading at high speed in the opposite direction in their lane of travel. The deputies activated the emergency overhead lights to alert the driver who then swerved and collided with the front left side of the patrol unit. The driver failed to stop after the near head-on collision and continued south on Robert Road.

The deputies turned and followed the vehicle as it increased speed before turning left and running a red light at Lakeshore Drive. Deputies continued following the vehicle and saw it drive over a culvert and enter the front yard of a home in the 8300 block of Gary Court. The vehicle, a gray Ford sedan, finally came to stop just several feet from the home.

The driver, later identified as 27-year-old Prescott Valley resident Rhonda Jean McCullugh, was contacted. Deputies immediately detected the odor of alcoholic beverages inside the vehicle and discovered a 7 year-old-child in the rear seat. During the investigation deputies determined McCullugh was impaired and she was taken into custody for Driving Under the Influence. A family member arrived on scene to care for McCullugh's child. Prescott Valley police units arrived and assisted.

McCullugh was transported to the Prescott Detention Center for booking. A subsequent breath test provided a result of .25 percent, which is over 3 times the legal limit of .08 percent. McCullugh was charged with DUI, Extreme DUI, 3 counts of Endangerment involving her daughter and both deputies, Child Abuse, Criminal Damage, Fleeing a Law Enforcement Vehicle and Reckless Driving. McCullugh remains in-custody on a 5,000 bond.