A high-speed chase beginning in Northampton County proceeded south-bound across the Chesapeake Bay-Bridge Tunnel and into Virginia Beach on Friday.
The driver of a silver Mercedes SUV in Hampton Roads led multiple police agencies on a chase from Northampton County until his vehicle crashed in the Chesapeake Bay-Bridge Tunnel at the start of the Friday rush hour on February 23, 2018.
According to Northampton Sheriff David Doughty, law enforcement officers initially attempted to pull over the SUV for “reckless driving by speed” for allegedly going 87 miles per hour. Reckless Driving, a violation of Virginia Code Section 46.2-862 is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2500. The court may also impose a six month loss of the privilege to drive in Virginia.
As the driver proceeded south, the speed of the Mercedes was reported to have reached more than 100 miles per hour. Deputies laid down spike strips in front of the heavily traveled Chesapeake Bay-Bridge Tunnel, but the driver of the SUV avoided them.
Virginia law enforcement officers from the Eastern Shore stopped their pursuit roughly halfway across the Chesapeake Bay-Bridge Tunnel due to safety concerns. The Virginia Beach Police Department was notified of the pursuit, and officers were waiting when the SUV reached the southern side of the bridge-tunnel.
The chase continued into Virginia Beach and onto Interstate 64. Virginia State Police stopped the traffic from entering the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, but the driver then passed the stopped traffic and entered the southern-side of the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel in an attempt to escape north. According to police, the Mercedes SUV came to a stop only after it crashed inside of the second tunnel he was attempting to use to escape.
The driver was taken into custody and charged with two felony counts of attempted of malicious wounding, felony eluding, reckless driving, and driving without a valid license.