According to a statement from the California Highway Patrol, on Sunday, Sept. 15, at approximately 6:22 a.m., Santa Rosa CHP was assisting PG&E with line work along southbound U.S. 101 in Geyserville.
All traffic was temporarily stopped when the suspect vehicle, a white Honda Civic, refused to stop and subsequently drove around the closure. The Honda nearly struck one of the CHP motor officers and a pursuit ensued, according to the statement. The Honda fled southbound at speeds over 100 miles per hour.
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office deputies successfully deployed a spike strip at the Shiloh Road exit. The Honda came to a stop in the lanes of traffic along southbound U.S. 101 just north of the River Road exit.
The male driver refused to exit the Honda and a standoff followed. Sonoma County Sheriff’s negotiators arrived on scene in an attempt to communicate with the driver. The driver continued to be uncooperative and negotiations broke down.
Sonoma County SWAT personnel arrived on scene to assist. After determining the vehicle was only occupied by the driver, SWAT officers used non-lethal options and successfully removed the driver from the Honda.
According to the statement, the driver was identified as Eric Van Gelder, 56, of Geyserville. Gelder was transported to Sutter Hospital for a medical clearance. Gelder will be charged with evading police, DUI (drugs), and delaying/resisting arrest.
This incident occurred on the southbound side of U.S. 101, but for the safety of the public and personnel on scene, both directions of the freeway were closed throughout the incident. U.S. 101 northbound was reopened at 9:18 a.m. and southbound was reopened at 9:31a.m.