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A Year Since the White Bronco Chase

June 17, 1995 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ June 17, 1994.

It was the morning O.J. Simpson was supposed to surrender to police.

Instead, he disappeared.

But at 6:25 p.m., the California Highway Patrol received the following call from motorist Chris Thomas:

``Yeah, um, I think I just saw O.J. Simpson on the 5 freeway and there was an all ... he was heading north. And I got the license plate. It was a white Bronco. 3DHY503. And he’s in the slow lane ...″

It was live, it was unedited and it was plenty bizarre.

More than 95 million people _ many trying to watch the National Basketball Association finals _ were riveted to TV a year ago Saturday as Simpson, a fugitive wanted for murder, was slowly driven in a white Bronco across 60 miles of freeway with police, news vans and helicopters in tow.

Thousands cheered, hanging from freeway overpasses and stopping to get out of their cars. They held signs and chanted: ``Go, O.J.!″

Simpson hid in the back, dialing his cellular phone.

His chauffeur, best friend and former Buffalo Bills teammate Al ``A.C.″ Cowlings, had his own conversation with police, telling them Simpson had a gun to his head and wanted to go to his house.

By nightfall, Simpson was inside his Brentwood home, where police allowed him to drink a glass of orange juice and phone his mother before taking him into custody.

Simpson was booked on two counts of first-degree murder for the June 12 stabbing deaths of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ronald Lyle Goldman. Cowlings was never charged.

Simpson’s trial will enter its 100th day Monday.