Driver, passenger in U-Haul chase released from county jail

EUGENE, Ore. -- The two people arrested after leading police on a high-speed chase in a U-Haul van were released on Thursday due to a lack of space at the Lane County Jail.

Lance Harris and Natasha Lucero of Portland fled police in a mid-size U-Haul through West Eugene on Wednesday afternoon, leading officers on a chase past the city limits, Eugene Police officials said.

Eventually Harris crashed the van on Prairie Road, and police took both parties into custody on multiple charges.

An officer initially tried to stop the U-Haul because an officer suspected it might be involved in an active case, a spokeswoman said.

Officials said that both Harris and Lucero were released from police custody just hours after being arraigned for their charges Thursday afternoon.

Police arrested Harris, 43, of Portland, on charges of eluding police, driving with a suspended license and unauthorized use of a vehicle. A spokeswoman said additional charges related to the pursuit are likely to be brought against Harris.

His passenger, 26-year-old Natasha Leanne Lucero of Portland, was arrested on one count of unauthorized use of a vehicle.

As of Thursday morning, police said they were still investigating any possible connections.

The investigation closed both north and southbound lanes of Northwest Expressway between Awbrey Lane and Irvington Drive during rush hour Wednesday while police investigate the van.