Woman accused of jumping into Colorado River, then stealing patrol car to evade troopers

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A woman has been arrested after she crashed a stolen car, then jumped into the Colorado River and stole a patrol car in an attempt to avoid capture Friday afternoon, according to the Colorado State Patrol. 

Troopers said around 3:45 p.m. Friday, they got a call about a crash on westbound Interstate 70 just east of the Beaver Tail Tunnel in Mesa County. Troopers determined the car had been stolen out of Montezuma County. As they approached the car, the two occupants ran away, according to state patrol. The driver ran across the interstate and jumped into the Colorado River. 

The driver, 29-year-old Venessa Jaramillo, was caught a short time later and arrested, according to state patrol. While she was in custody, she stole a patrol car. Troopers chased the car down Interstate 70 for about 10 miles until it crashed. Jaramillo was again captured and taken to jail. 

A trooper responding to the scene was involved in a crash with a motorcycle on Interstate 70 near mile marker 42, according to state patrol. The motorcyclist was hospitalized with minor injuries. The trooper drove to the hospital as a precaution. That crash is still under investigation. 

The man who had run from the original crash, 36-year-old Nickolas Mascarenas, was arrested around 9 p.m., when officers spotted him walking in nearby Palisade. 

Troopers said Jaramillo was wanted on a felony warrant and two misdemeanor warrants in Lake County. Mascarenas had felony warrants out of Eagle County and Lake County, according to state patrol. 

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