BOZEMAN — A Bozeman woman who reportedly almost hit a Bozeman Police vehicle on Saturday night, then crashed after a high-speed chase is facing multiple felony charges.
Chelsea J. Woods, 23, was seen in Gallatin County Justice Court on Monday, Mar. 1, 2021, for felony criminal endangerment and felony motor vehicle theft and faces $50,000 bail.
According to charging documents, on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, at approximately 10:16 pm, two Bozeman Police officers were finishing up a traffic stop at W. Main and No. 11th when they observed a white SUV lose control, spin off the roadway and go up on the curb. One of the officers noted another vehicle traveling northbound had to stop to avoid a collision. The incident was captured by the patrol unit dashcam.
The officers went after the white SUV to conduct a traffic stop for careless driving. The SUV then allegedly drove at a reportedly high rate of speed through the neighborhoods on W. Babcock St, So. 10th Ave, and W. Olive Streets. When officers turned onto S. 11th Ave, the white SUV was headed toward the patrol vehicle. A Bozeman Police officer stated in the court documents that: “the white SUV was not slowing down and I was in fear of my life or physical harm that could occur to me from a head-on collision.” The patrol unit and the white SUV made minimal contact with the front push bumper of the patrol unit brushing on the driver side of the SUV as it continued southbound on S. 11th at a high rate of speed.
The officer reported he was able to get a “good look” at the driver who he later positively identified as Chelsea Woods.
While in pursuit, officers observed the SUV travel at high speeds nearly colliding with other vehicles on So. 11th and at the roundabout at So. 11th at and W. College St. The SUV’s driver then made an eastbound turn on W. Harrison St. and continued to drive at a high rate of speed, not stopping at multiple stop signs and drove in the opposite lanes of traffic. It ultimately crashed into the yard of a home on So. Black, nearly crashing into the actual residence structure. When the vehicle was located, the driver’s door was open, and the driver had fled the scene.
The owner of the SUV was contacted by Montana Highway Patrol and Woods was identified as the suspected driver. When officers called Wood’s cell phone number, a cell phone found in the vehicle reportedly lit up with an incoming call.
Woods was not located at the scene of the crash after a K9 search of the area. She was late contacted at her apartment and was arrested for criminal endangerment.
The owner of the vehicle told an officer that he should be the only person with the keys to the vehicle and he had not lent the vehicle to anyone. He told the officer that Woods had gone to bed with him around 10 pm and that he wished to press charges against Woods for the theft of his vehicle.
Woods' next court appearance is set for Mar. 19, 2021.