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Police: Woman steals ambulance, asks why it was unlocked

PORTLAND, OR (KOIN) – A woman who was arrested after allegedly stealing an unoccupied ambulance and leading a nearly 30-mile police chase on I-5 said she “wasn’t trying to hurt anyone.”

Roseburg police said Christy Lynn Woods stole the ambulance while EMTs were giving an unconscious person CPR. When the paramedics went to take the patient to the hospital, the ambulance was gone. 

Woods did not pull over when the first police car started chasing her downtown. Instead, she drove the ambulance onto I-5 northbound with the emergency lights on, according to the probable cause statement.

Police followed as Woods drove between 80 and 85 miles per hour, swerving between lanes and passing semi-trucks along the way, the report said. 

Woods allegedly hit a patrol car that was trying to clear traffic ahead of the ambulance. She hit the car, sending it spinning into the median. The crash broke the windshield and crushed the back of the car, giving Stg. Ken Terry whiplash and a cut on his hand.

Ahead of the ambulance, a deputy was able to put down a spike strip, which eventually punctured the ambulance’s tires, bringing the chase to a stop.

The report said Woods finally stopped, got out of the ambulance and got on the ground. She was taken into custody and faces charges of attempted assault I, assault II, unauthorized use of a vehicle, attempt to elude, failure to perform the duties of the driver, reckless driving, interfering with a medical services provider, reckless endangering, criminal mischief and driving while suspended.

The arresting officer said on the way to the Douglas County Corrections center, Woods said the following unprompted statements: 

  • “I gave up when I should”
  • “I didn’t try to hurt anyone … I was a good [expletive] driver”
  • “Oh my God, I can’t believe I just did that.”
  • “[Expletive] … I’m going to prison.”
  • “Why did they leave it unlocked? The police car was locked.”
  • “I wasn’t trying to hurt anyone with my driving skills… I’m sorry.”
  • “It’s my own fault. It’s not their fault.” 

According to jail records, Woods has been arrested 39 times in Douglas County since 2013.