A 52-year-old Winnetka woman was identified Wednesday as the RV driver who led officers on a wild chase through the San Fernando Valley that involved one of two dogs leaping out of the moving vehicle and multiple crashes that left a bystander with major injuries.
Julie Ann Rainbird has been booked on $100,000 bail for possible evasion, hit-and-run and assault charges in connection with the Tuesday evening pursuit, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department asked CHP to take over its pursuit of a stolen motor home about 7 p.m. Tuesday. Simi Valley police later said the vehicle was purchased in Downey using a stolen identity.
CHP officers in the Newhall area started chasing the RV southbound on Old Road near Weldon Canyon Road, the agency said. The driver sped through the freeway and surface streets, sustaining heavy damages as it crashed into multiple vehicles, aerial footage from Sky5 showed.
At some point, in the Winnetka neighborhood, a dog leaped out of the moving RV and ran off the road.
Another dog then came into view from the front seat and remained there until the driver lost control and struck a car pulling into the driveway of a Tarzana home at about 7:30 p.m.
The suspect subsequently slammed into a tree and exited the RV with the second dog limping after her.
Officers soon tackled the suspect as she tried to jump a gate, Sky5 video showed.
The man who was hit while pulling into the driveway was transported to the hospital with serious injuries, according to CHP. Rainbird also suffered some minor injuries, the agency added.
One of the dogs was transported to an emergency clinic while the other was taken to a West Valley shelter, according to L.A. Animal Services. They are both recovering.
Investigators had learned about the RV after an L.A. woman reported her identity stolen, according to Simi Valley police. A motorcycle was also purchased with that victim’s identity, the Police Department said.