Police: Suicidal driver almost hits cop, wrecks

Police: Suicidal driver almost hits cop, wrecks

SUTHERLIN, Ore. -- Police say a man who wrecked after speeding through a crash scene at 100 miles per hour, nearly hitting a cop, may have been suicidal.

Just before 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sutherlin Police Department officers were dealing with a crash on Highway 99 at the 135 interchange when a man driving a Honda Accord sped through at what they say was about 100 mph.

The vehicle nearly hit an officer who was at the scene, which happened to be at the same place a Sutherlin officer was struck by a car in 2008.

Police gave chase, but the suspect had already crashed head-on into a railroad crossing arm about a mile north on Hwy 99. The force of the crash was so great it tore the guard rail post out of the ground.

Authorities identified the man as Billy Junior Canfield, 23. Canfield had been reported to be suicidal by a family member just minutes before the incident, and police were looking for him.

Police said that Canfield left the vehicle under his own power and became combative with officers and medical personnel who were trying to help him. Police said he started swinging at officers, using both his hands and debris from the crash. Police used a Taser to subdue Canfield.

Canfield was transported to Mercy by Douglas County Fire District #2 for medical treatment.

Sutherlin police said that several criminal charges are pending, and anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact Officer Rich Hopkins at the Sutherlin Police Department.