***This story was updated on Wed., June 25 at 9 a.m. with more concise information now available from authorities.
A man and woman were arrested by law enforcement officials Tuesday afternoon, June 24, after they led officers on a chase up and down Interstate 15 that resulted in an overturn crash at State Route 76. Both suspects are now being held without bail in the Vista Jail. The man is being held on 10 felony and 2 misdemeanor counts, and the woman on 6 felony and 3 misdemeanor charges.
The incident began at about 3:21 p.m. when the driver of a black Dodge Durango ran a red light and almost collilded into a Sheriff’s patrol car from the San Marcos station at Nordahl Road and El Norte Parkway in Escondido.
When the deputy tried to pull the driver over, “The driver failed to yield and was pursued southbound on Interstate 15,” said Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Duong.
“There was a lot of dope, drugs in the car,” said Sheriff’s Lt. Lisk from the communications center.
“The vehicle eventually exited the freeway at Via Rancho Parkway and entered the parking lot at North County Fair,” he said. “As the deputy continued to pursue the vehicle, the driver crashed through a chain link fence, drove up an embankment and re-entered the freeway.”
“As the suspect vehicle returned to the freeway, the passenger threw an unloaded firearm from the car,” said Duong. “CHP units were requested and assisted in the pursuit, following the vehicle onto northbound Interstate 15 to State Route 76.” In addition, the Sheriff’s Dept. launched the ASTREA helicopter to aid in the apprehension.
Duong said the driver of the Durango exited onto the State Route 76 off ramp, then tried to execute a u-turn in order to re-enter the freeway traveling the wrong direction.
“Patrol units from the CHP attempted to stop the suspect vehicle, however, as the suspect vehicle continued to evade law enforcement, the vehicle rolled over near the off ramp,” said Duong.
When officers approached the car, the two suspects (one male, one female) inside were identified as Adam Heath, 35, and Tatiana Nedeljkovic, 34.
While both were taken into custody at the scene, paramedics were called to evaluate their medical condition post-crash.
“Their injuries were non-life threatening,” said John Buchanan, public information officer for North County Fire. “They were both taken by ground transport to Palomar Medical Center.”
Duong said another handgun was located inside the suspects’ vehicle in addition to drugs and potential stolen property.
“Both suspects were booked into the Vista [Jail] on multiple felony charges and multiple felony warrants,” said Duong.
According to information from the jail, the individuals have been charged with the following:
Adam Heath - Felony charges: Possession of a controlled substance, evading officers with disregard for public safety, possession of controlled substance for sale, possession of a controlled substance, transporting a controlled substance, unlicensed owner of a handgun (2 charges), and armed with a firearm (2 charges). Misdemeanor charges: Driving under the influence, reckless driving.
Tatiana Nedeljkovic - Felony charges: Possession of narcotics, transporting controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for sale, possession of a controlled substance, armed with a firearm (2 charges). Misdemeanor charges: Under the influence of a controlled substance, possession of unlawful paraphernalia, and willful cruelty to a child (could be previous outstanding warrant).
Both suspects have outstanding warrants from out-of-area agencies as well.
The Sheriff’s Dept. is asking anyone that may have information about this call to call its non-emergency line at (858) 565-5200.