Sheriff’s deputies on contract with Creswell, including Sgt. Scott Denham, joined the pursuit and search of a suspect on the run Saturday, June 6. Two passengers in the car were arrested; the driver remains at large. ERIN TIERNEY/THE CHRONICLE

CRESWELL – There was a sense of calm and safety in the high school parking lot the morning of Saturday, June 6, as new graduates were commencing to go cruising. Sgt. Scott Denham was ready to lead the procession around town, musing aloud to local journalists about what the rest of his day might look like. Nothing special, really.

Less than an hour later, he had peeled off from CHS’ “Graduation Cruise” and joined one of his deputies and a handful of other officers in hot pursuit of a small sedan.

Denham and Sgt. Carrie Carver of the Lane County Sheriff’s Office offered this recap:

A sheriff’s deputy began pursuing a vehicle in downtown Eugene. It headed south on I-5 and as the cars were approaching Creswell, the high school car cruise was turning back onto 5th Street Denham took off and headed to the freeway to assist.

The suspect’s vehicle took the Creswell exit, and due to the erratic driving and with public safety in mind, the pursuit was terminated.

The vehicle went down S. Mill St. to Highway 99 while patrol cars followed. The suspect then took the Market Street turn at high speed, hit the railroad tie, and blew out a tire rim, stopping just short of a telephone pole.

The male driver fled into the slough through the poison oak. Two women were outside the car and detained. One was released and the other was arrested for a probation detainer and possession of methamphetamine. Cottage Grove responded with a K-9 and assisted to search, but with the water and weather conditions, LCSO did not find the driver and he remains at large.