High-speed chase ends in wrecks

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 28, 2007

AULANDER – A high-speed chase ended with two vehicles being totaled here late Wednesday night.

One of those was a police vehicle driven by Aulander Police Officer Jimmy Barmer.

Barmer was sitting stationary by the railroad tracks on North Commerce Street when he observed a man in a black pickup truck traveling north at a high rate of speed.

&uot;Officer Barmer estimated the vehicle was traveling in excess of 90 miles per hour (mph),&uot; stated Aulander Police Chief Mike Patterson. &uot;The vehicle even jumped the tracks, according to his report.&uot;

The speed limit at that section of Commerce Street is posted as 35 mph.

Barmer then attempted to make a traffic stop but the truck turned left onto NC 11.

&uot;Speeds reached in excess of 100 mph at that time, and Barmer had all of his emergency equipment activated – all the sirens and lights, but the vehicle continued on, refusing to stop,&uot; Patterson said.

According to the police report, the driver then turned on Pine Street headed toward Aulander, and then went straight across the street at the intersection of Main and Pine.

&uot;He (the truck’s driver) then turned onto Quail Hollow Street, made a right turn and went down a little dirt road and jumped a ditch in the back of a house, still not stopping,&uot; stated Patterson.

He continued, &uot;Once it got into Millennium the truck went into somebody’s backyard, then spun around and almost struck Officer Barmer, who had gotten out of his vehicle and was attempting to walk up and talk to the driver of the truck.&uot;

The driver then went back out onto Main Street and was headed toward Aulander again when Patterson joined the chase.

&uot;The vehicle almost struck me in the Explorer,&uot; Patterson said. &uot;Officer Barmer then passed the truck, trying to get him to pull over and slow down, but the truck’s driver tried to go around him and struck the police car.&uot;

The car then went airborne with Barmer in it and came to rest in the old Cook Motor Company (CMC) parking lot.

After striking the police car, the driver of the truck apparently lost control and almost struck the CMC building.

Both Barmer and the truck’s driver were taken to Roanoke-Chowan Hospital and then released. Neither was seriously injured.

According to Patterson, the 17-year-old driver stated that the reason he wouldn’t stop is because he was late for his curfew.

The Aulander Police Department is not releasing his name at this time. Chief Patterson said the investigation is continuing and charges are pending on the driver.