MORGAN COUNTY, Utah - A Colorado woman was in critical condition Monday but expected to survive after being shot in the face by a Morgan County sheriff's deputy following a high-speed pursuit in northern Utah.
Officials have identified the woman as Kristine Nicole Biggs, a 41-year-old from Whitewater, Colo., near Grand Junction.
The 40-mile chase began just before 10 p.m. Sunday, when a Morgan County deputy attempted to pull over the woman's pickup truck for a broken headlight. Instead, Biggs sped away westbound on Interstate 84 and a chase ensued, authorities said.
Davis County Sheriff's Capt. Kenneth Payne, whose office is investigating the officer-involved shooting for Morgan County, said the pursuit led deputies up Weber Canyon. The woman sped eastbound on I-84 to the Morgan city exit, then re-entered the freeway to head westbound, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
At that point, Morgan deputies called for assistance from the Utah Highway Patrol and other area law enforcement agencies, the newspaper reported. At Horseshoe Bend on I-84, UHP troopers spread spike strips that took out both left side tires and the right front tire of the suspect's pickup.
"But she just kept going, still at high speed, out of the mouth of Weber Canyon and taking the South Weber exit and going onto Cottonwood Drive. Then she turned around and headed directly into the path of the (two pursuing Morgan County) officers," Payne told the Tribune.
The pickup sideswiped the first deputy's cruiser and hit the second deputy's cruiser nearly head on. The deputy from the first patrol car, meanwhile, jumped out of his vehicle and repeatedly ordered Biggs to turn off the engine and get out of the pickup, Payne told the news paper.
As the pickup driver kept ramming the second deputy's vehicle, Payne said, the first deputy, fearing his fellow officer's safety, fired once through the windshield. The bullet struck Biggs in the face, clipping the bridge of her nose and taking out her left eye, the Tribune reported.
Payne said Biggs was in critical condition in intensive care, but was expected to survive.
Morgan County Sheriff's Sgt. Jason Lee said in a statement that it appears alcohol was a factor in the pursuit.
She had an arrest warrant out of Colorado for a wildlife-related felony, Payne said.
No law enforcement officers were injured.