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CHESTERTON, Ind. (CBS) — “Bath salts” are being blamed for an Indiana woman’s misadventure on the roads this week that ended with a crash into a Boulder and several police squad cars.
Britni L. Morrison, 29, of Indianapolis, was arrested in Chesterton, Ind., at 3:13 p.m. Tuesday, according to Chesterton police.
Officers were investigating a crash near Route 49 and Gateway Boulevard in Chesterton, and found that Morrison, driving a 1999 Honda Accord, had rear-ended a 2011 Ford Focus driven by Kim Marschak of Chesterton. No serious injuries were reported, police said.
Morrison left the scene, but responding officers located her damaged car northbound on Route 49, but she failed to respond to sirens and flashing lights, a report from police said. The Honda continued northbound, ignoring warnings to stop and swerving at and around pursuing officers. She also slammed on her brakes in an apparent attempt to get pursuing vehicles to strike her car.
The pursuit continued into the Indiana Dunes State Park property, where Morrison’s car struck a large landscaping boulder.
The vehicle came to a stop and officers, but Morrison failed to respond to requests to leave the car, and loud music could be heard coming from the Honda, police said. Morrison then put the car in reverse and abruptly accelerated, police said.
Morrison avoided parked squad cars, then accelerated into the park property. She entered a parking lot closed because of construction and headed toward several beach visitors at a high rate of speed.
Police blocked the Honda with squad cars to keep it from closing in on the beachgoers, and the car, surrounded on all four sides by police cars, came to a stop. But Morrison again put the car in reverse and collided with a Chesterton squad car as well as Burns Harbor and Porter police vehicles.
When she came to a stop, she was forcibly removed from the vehicle and placed into handcuffs. Morrison was incoherent, laughing uncontrollably and speaking nonsense, police said. For medical purposes, she was taken to Porter Hospital for examination, where she allegedly told doctors she had been using “bath salts” about two hours prior to the incident.
While labeled as additives for baths, “bath salts” actually contain powerful stimulants such as mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), neither of which have a history of being used as bath products. The product is actually snorted or smoked, and leads to “elevated heart rate, elevated blood pressure; very agitated, very confused patients,” Arthur Kubic of the Illinois Poison Control Center told CBS 2 in March.
A search warrant was issued for a blood sample from Morrison, but when hospital staff attempted to withdraw blood, Morrison stood up and kicked a staffer before being restrained. She then calmed down and began to laugh hysterically, police said.
She was later taken to the Porter County Jail in Valparaiso, where she remains in custody facing a felony charge of resisting law enforcement with a motor vehicle; and misdemeanor charges of operating while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident causing bodily injury, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, criminal recklessness with a motor vehicle and battery.
She was expected to appear in Porter County, Ind., Court on Wednesday.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.