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Deputies tried to stop car before it plunged over Valley View bridge embankment

Posted at 10:30 PM, Dec 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-15 15:42:43-05

Tire tracks leading off the embankment between the eastbound and westbound lanes of the Valley View bridge Thursday night left a lot of questions about what happened before that car plunged off the cliff. 

Now there are conflicting reports about what exactly happened.

According to the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office, deputies attempted to stop the White Audi around 8:30 p.m. on Interstate 90. The driver didn't stop, instead taking off westbound, authorities said. 

The sheriff's office tells News 5 they did not pursue the car for safety reasons but they continued following it until they spotted it again heading eastbound on Interstate 480 toward the Valley View bridge. 

They initiated a second traffic stop, sheriff's office officials said, but the driver, again, took off. 

Tire tracks in the snow showed that the car traveled more than 100 feet in the median before going off the embankment, falling 84 feet. 

Other police departments arrived at the scene after the car went off the cliff and Independence police gave a different account of what happened. 

They told News 5 the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office initiated a chase starting at 9:11 p.m. in Fairview Park. 

When News 5 asked sheriff's office spokesperson Mary Louise Madigan about the different account, she repeated several times that it was not a chase. 

The driver was transported to MetroHealth Medical Center in unknown condition. It's unclear why deputies tried to initiate the first traffic stop.