Woman leads high-speed chase alongside patrol unit up busy highway

A Boone County woman, 28-year-old Graceann Underwood of Diamond City, has been arrested and charged following a high-speed pursuit ending when her vehicle collided with a patrol unit.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed Tuesday morning, the incident began Saturday in Searcy County when deputies observed Underwood's car south of Marshall on U.S. Highway 65 sitting stationary obstructing the flow of traffic.

When a traffic stop was attempted, Underwood's vehicle allegedly accelerated, fleeing north in an attempt to evade apprehension.

During the pursuit, the Boone County woman's vehicle reached speeds in excess of 90 mph, while in the presence of traffic in both directions. At other times, Underwood would reportedly "dart" at patrol units with her vehicle and position her car in the opposite lane of traffic in an attempt to prevent officers from overtaking her.

After about a 20-minute chase covering about 20 miles, Underwood's vehicle entered the opposite lane of traffic and pulled alongside a Searcy County deputy's patrol unit.

Seeing the oncoming traffic and the potentially fatal consequences, the deputy began forcing Underwood's vehicle to the edge of the roadway. During this action and just seconds before striking oncoming traffic, Underwood's vehicle and the patrol unit made contact.

The contact forced Underwood's vehicle off the roadway, where it came to rest in a ditch. The Boone County woman immediately exited her car and was taken into custody by Searcy County Sheriff Kenny Cassell.

During an inventory of Underwood's vehicle, drug paraphernalia testing positive for methamphetamine residue was reportedly located.

Underwood has been charged with felony counts of aggravated assault, fleeing and possession of drug paraphernalia, as well as misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and driving while intoxicated.

Online court records do not indicate the amount of Underwood's bond.

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