Suspected drunk driver with kids in car leads deputies on pursuit

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Chelsea Yazzie By Jennifer Thomas Chelsea Yazzie By Jennifer Thomas

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- A Flagstaff woman was arrested on DUI and child endangerment charges after leading Coconino County sheriff's deputies on a pursuit over the weekend.

At about 3 a.m. Saturday, a deputy stopped a Pontiac Grand Am in the area of Country Club Drive and Cortland Boulevard in Flagstaff after suspecting the driver was intoxicated. As the deputy approached the vehicle on foot, the driver accelerated and left the scene.

The deputy returned to his vehicle and followed the sedan.

According to officials, the car nearly hit a sheriff's marked patrol vehicle and two marked Flagstaff police cars, drove in the wrong lanes, ran a red light, and reached speeds as high as 80 mph during the chase.

As the deputy was discontinuing the pursuit, he saw a large cloud of dust ahead of him. He approached and learned that the driver had lost control of the vehicle, hit a curb and traveled backward off of the roadway.

Deputies found Chelsea Yazzie, 20, in the driver's seat and a 20-year-old female in the front passenger seat. Two children, ages 2 and 11, were in the backseat. The 2-year-old child was in a safety seat but she was not seat belted in properly, officials said.

Both of the adults were incarcerated at the Coconino County Detention Facility and the children were released to a relative.

Yazzie faces charges of driving under the influence of alcohol, aggravated DUI, unlawful flight from a law enforcement officer and child endangerment.