Okaloosa County pursuit ends in crash, driver allegedly under influence of heroin

Sierra Rains
Northwest Florida Daily News

CRESTVIEW — A Texas man faces multiple felony charges after reportedly leading Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office deputies on a pursuit while under the influence of heroin. 

Multiple people called 911 around 2:30 p.m. Thursday to report a suspected intoxicated driver driving recklessly on the shoulder of Interstate 10 near Crestview, according to a report from the Sheriff’s Office. 

More:Pedestrian struck, killed on Interstate 10 in Okaloosa County

James Rodriguez

Motorists reportedly advised that the driver was driving extremely slow, swerving all over the roadway and nearly hitting numerous vehicles. 

Deputies responded and initiated a traffic stop, but the driver attempted to flee. The driver, later identified as 32-year-old James Rodriguez of San Antonio, avoided a deputy’s attempt to stop him and struck a patrol car, the Sheriff's Office reported. 

More:Seven arrested during narcotics search at Crestview home

The second attempt by deputies to stop the driver using spike strips was successful and Rodriguez crashed in a wooded median, OCSO said. No injuries were reported.  

Rodriguez reportedly became unconscious after running into the median and was transported to a nearby hospital to receive medical treatment for an apparent heroin overdose. 

Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office deputies on the scene of a crash on Interstate 10 near Crestview Thursday afternoon. The driver was reportedly intoxicated and crashed following a pursuit.

He was later taken into custody and is being held without bail for numerous felony charges, according to Okaloosa County Jail records. 

The charges include driving under the influence and damage to property, leaving the scene of a crash involving damage, eluding police with disregard of safety to persons or property, and operating a motor vehicle without a valid license.