Police chase ends in car driving off 200-foot embankment into Salt River bottom

A man was rescued near I-10 and the Salt River after he drove off the freeway and down a 200-foot embankment into the river bottom Tuesday night, Phoenix fire officials said.

Crews performed a steep-angle rescue to retrieve the driver from the vehicle. The driver, described as a man in his 20s, is OK and was taken to the hospital with rib pain, says Phoenix Fire Capt. Todd Keller.

Another person in the car was taken into custody down in the embankment. 

As for what led up to the crash, Tempe Police says they tried to stop the driver near 40th Street and University Drive while investigating an occupied stolen car. The driver reportedly refused, kept going and hit one of the police cruisers.

"Tempe Police pursued the vehicle for a short time; however, the pursuit was ultimately terminated due to the suspect driving at a high rate of speed with erratic behavior. Just before the pursuit was terminated, the suspect vehicle was last seen near an industrial area near Elwood and University Dr.," Tempe Police said.

While patrolling the area, officers saw the suspect's car over the embankment. That's when the rescue took place.

"The suspects were transported to a nearby hospital for minor injuries. No other suspects are outstanding. Additionally, no officers were injured during the incident," Tempe Police said.

The suspects have been identified as 24-year-old Markell Johnson and 26-year-old Kevin Turner. Both face drug and theft charges.

Kevin Turner, Markell Johnson

Full press conference from Phoenix Fire:

Rescue crews are working to save a driver who careened off a 200 foot cliff.

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