By Terry Harris
A 16-year-old male driver from Petersburg was arrested Tuesday following a high-speed pursuit on I-95 that resulted in a crash of the stolen vehicle involved in the chase. Shortly afterward, Sussex County Patrol Deputy Stewart Hudson described the event.
"I was monitoring traffic at mile marker 33 on I-95 heading north toward me when I clocked a Honda Elantra coming at me at 95 mph headed toward Petersburg," said Hudson. "I activated emergency lights and siren and the vehicle immediately increased speed."
Hudson said that two drivers of tractor-trailer trucks ahead of the chase saw them approaching from the rear. They moved side by side in the right and left lanes and began slowing down in an attempt to keep the speeding vehicle from passing.
"The vehicle veered off onto the shoulder and shot past tractor trailers," he continued, "whereupon they slowed down, gave me room to pass, and I saw in my rearview mirror that they had again pulled side by side and slowed to keep back the traffic from the pursuit," Hudson said.
"He then increased speed even more, going back across the lanes. When he tried to take the Prince George exit at a high rate of speed, he lost control of the vehicle, flipping two or three times. When I made contact with him, he had been thrown into the back seat by the crash because he had not been wearing a seat belt."
According to Hudson, when the driver was placed in custody, 9 mm rounds were found in his pocket.
"So, he got medical attention," Hudson said, adding that the driver sustained no injuries, "and we searched the vehicle and discovered an automatic rifle with extended magazine (AR-15 type) inside the vehicle. The weapon did return back stolen. The vehicle also was stolen out of Chesterfield."
The driver, who was only identified as a Petersburg resident due to his being a juvenile, reportedly was already on probation for a firearm violation and is now in the Crater Detention Center. He was charged with eluding police, possession of a handgun or assault rifle under the age of 18, reckless driving, receiving stolen firearms, grand theft auto, and driving without a seat belt.
The case is still under investigation.