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Juvenile driver arrested after Buck Mountain chase

Originally published: May. 13, 2013
Last modified: May. 13, 2013

Adam Orr

A juvenile, a 16-year old West Jefferson driver, was charged with felony fleeing to elude police, reckless driving to endanger and driving while impaired by the West Jefferson Police Department following a car chase early Friday morning, according to West Jefferson Chief of Police Jeff Rose.

At 3:22 a.m. on May 10, WJPD Officer Jake Howell noticed a black Jeep in the parking lot of Wilco with its lights off, according to WJPD records.

“As I approached the parking lot, the vehicle exited onto 2nd Street traveling west,” Howell said. “The vehicle failed to turn its headlights on while traveling 2nd Street.”

Howell followed the vehicle onto North Jefferson Avenue, where it made an abrupt right turn onto a piece of vacant property and stopped.

“As I exited my car, the vehicle then drove forward rapidly through grass and tall brush almost getting stuck making its way back toward North Jefferson Avenue in an attempt to get away,” Howell said.

According to the report, Howell then chased the vehicle across Backstreet and Graybeal Avenue before the Jeep turned onto East Buck Mountain Road. Near the intersection of Buck Mountain Road and Lauren Lane, Howell said the vehicle turned up a driveway and over a steep embankment his patrol car couldn’t follow.

After entering a subdivision off Lauren Lane, Howell said he and Ashe County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Aaron Reed located the suspect’s vehicle parked behind a house.

“When we began approaching the vehicle with our patrol cars, it began moving away again rapidly through yards in the subdivision attempting to get away from us,” Howell said.

Howell and Reed were then joined by ACSO Deputy Kelly Stevens in pursuit of the vehicle across Buck Mountain Road and into the Buffalo community, onto Kemp Lewis Circle and finally Highway 88 West where the suspect’s vehicle was stopped after running into a ditch.

Despite verbal commands by Howell to stop, the driver allegedly continued to accelerate until the vehicle came back onto the road, according to Howell.

“I continued to pursue until it eventually wrecked, rolling over several times and coming to rest,” Howell said.

The driver and a 16-year old passenger were placed in handcuffs after being removed from the vehicle, according to Howell, and emergency services personnel were called to the scene.

“(The driver) made the statement to paramedics that he had been smoking meth earlier (and) later submitted to a test of his blood at Ashe (County Memorial Hospital Emergency Room),” Howell said.

The driver was charged with not having a driver’s license, felony fleeing to elude, resist, obstruct and delaying an officer, reckless driving to endanger and driving while impaired.

The juvenile passenger was transported to the Ashe County Detention Center, and was later picked up by her parents, according to the report. 
For more information and stories, see Ashe Mountain Times.