Woman denies driving after 100 mph DPS chase along I-17

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

PHOENIX -- A Colorado woman was arrested after leading Department of Public Safety officers on a high-speed pursuit on Interstate 17 Thursday morning.

At approximately 10:20 a.m., the Yavapai County Sheriff's Department notified DPS about a vehicle that had refused to yield for a traffic stop.

DPS units located the 2010 Ford Focus on southbound I-17 and attempted to pull it over, but the driver wouldn't stop.

The vehicle exited the freeway at New River. DPS terminated the pursuit and alerted the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

The vehicle then re-entered the freeway at Daisy Mountain and DPS resumed the pursuit with a DPS Air Rescue Ranger helicopter monitoring the chase.

According to DPS, the Focus was traveling at speeds in excess of 105 mph.

Stop sticks were deployed at Greenway Road, puncturing three of the car's tires.

The vehicle then exited I-17 at Cactus Road. The driver, identified as Janelle Simpson, 37, of Carbondale, Colo., got out of her car in the middle of the road and tried to carjack a vehicle that was stopped for a red light. No weapons were used.

With assistance from MCSO and Phoenix police, a DPS officer took Simpson into custody. She will be booked on charges of felony flight, driving while impaired and third-degree burglary.