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OnStar Technology Crucial In Detaining Driver Who Led High-Speed Chase In Sutter County

SUTTER COUNTY (CBS13) — A car chase on Highway 99 ended with a suspect in custody after hostage negotiators, a K-9 and OnStar prevented the situation from taking a dark turn.

Kyle Ross McCray, accused of running from law enforcement, gave California Highway Patrol and local sheriff's deputies few options for slowing him down on the road.

"Pursuits in general are always a little scary. It is about using resources your spike strips or utilizing training and pit maneuvers," said Scott Smallwood, Sutter County undersheriff.

The stolen car eventually came to a dead stop but it wasn't because of spike strips or the suspect behind the wheel hitting the breaks. It was OnStar, a vehicle safety and security system.

After learning the technology was in the car, Smallwood says it was a quick decision to ask the company to remote into the vehicle and stop the driver.

"Knowing the state of mind the subject was in, who knows if he wanted to go head-on with someone," Smallwood said.

OnStars website explains vehicles with the technology have a theft alarm notification that, once activated, allows advisors to use GPS technology to track stolen cars and slow them down and disable them. This makes it impossible for the car to continue driving.

"It was a huge success. That was able to get him to stop without crashing or injuring anybody else," Smallwood said.

A peaceful end to the chase was crucial for officers who were told by McCray he had a grenade and a five-year-old child in the backseat.

Drones and a helicopter camera confirmed that wasn't true. So, after negotiations failed, officers shot the windows out with bean bag rounds and filled the car with tear gas.

"K-9 was deployed, he then gave up," Smallwood said.

He admits that the situation could have been far worse.

"This could have easily turned into a tragedy. I think technology is a key component for us," Smallwood said. "I'm grateful for it and for OnStar."

McCray was taken into custody and booked into the Yuba County Jail. CBS13 was told by the Sutter County Sheriff's Office he was on parole and under the influence.

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