On Thursday, June 25, West Virginia State Troopers were conducting a highway safety operation on Route 48 near Luxemburg Road in Hardy County. They observed a black BMW 335i traveling eastbound in excess of 100 miles per hour in an active construction zone while workers were present. The driver of the vehicle failed to yield to law enforcement for a traffic stop. Officers also determined that the license plate did not match the vehicle.
Deputies from the Hardy County Sheriff’s Office were staged near Wardensville, and the vehicle was still traveling well in excess of 100 mph and also failed to yield at that time. Witnesses then observed the vehicle abruptly stop, then two younger males changed positions in the vehicle to switch drivers before continuing at a high rate of speed.
West Virginia State Police and Hardy County Deputies pursued the vehicle into Hampshire County to the Virginia line on Route 259 north, while in communication with the Hampshire and Frederick County Sheriff’s Offices for assistance. Frederick County Sheriff’s Deputies intercepted the vehicle on Route 50 east, and the fleeing vehicle turned around and went westbound back into Hampshire County West Virginia.
In mutual aid with Hampshire County, Hardy County Chief Deputy Warren staged on 50W with spike strips, and Hardy County Sergeant Shipe and Deputy Spencer also prepared spike strips east of that location in case the vehicle attempted to evade law enforcement again. At that point, the vehicle stopped at a church near Capon Bridge and both occupants fled into nearby woods.
Sheriff Alkire of Hampshire County pursued the two males on foot and apprehended both. The two occupants of the BMW were determined to be 17-year-old juveniles from Missouri. A Frederick County drug K9 alerted on the vehicle, but no drugs were found during a search.
West Virginia State Trooper E.V. Vaubel charged one occupant and Hardy County Chief Deputy Warren charged the other with fleeing in vehicle, failure to obey traffic signs, improper registration, driving left of center, and passing in a no passing zone. Other charges may be pending in consultation with the Hardy County Prosecuting Attorneys office for juvenile proceedings.
Hardy County Chief Deputy Warren thanked the numerous citizens for their assistance pointing out the location and direction of the dangerous drivers.
“Without the overwhelming assistance of the general public, these dangerous juvenile drivers could have easily injured themselves or innocent drivers in their path,” he said. “We very much appreciate the help we received from good citizens during this pursuit to bring a positive ending to the situation.”