From Virginia State Police: A Bluff City, Tenn. man is in custody following a pursuit Monday morning in Washington County. James E. Malone, 41, was taken into custody on several outstanding arrest warrants. Charges are currently pending related to today’s incident. At approximately 10:30 a.m. Monday (May 13), a Virginia State Police trooper initiated a traffic stop on a Chevrolet Aveo that was traveling north on Interstate 81 at the 7 mile marker in Washington County, Va. The Chevrolet refused to stop and a pursuit was initiated. The Chevrolet sped away from the trooper headed north on I-81, using the shoulder to pass northbound traffic. The trooper terminated the pursuit at the 11 mile marker when he lost sight of the Chevrolet.
A Be On the Look Out (BOLO) was issued for the suspect vehicle, which was spotted traveling on US Highway 11 a short time later by a Virginia State Police sergeant. The sergeant initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle, which again refused to stop. The Chevrolet got back onto I-81 at Exit 14. As the Chevrolet headed north on I-81, it rammed a Virginia State Police patrol car, which caused Malone – the driver of the Chevrolet – to lose control. The Chevrolet spun out into the median. Malone regained control and began driving north in the southbound lanes of I-81. With the assistance of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, all southbound traffic was stopped at the 21 mile marker as the Chevrolet continued north on the southbound shoulder of I-81 at a high rate of speed.
The Chevrolet exited I-81 at Exit 19. As it continued onto Watauga Road at a high rate of speed, Malone lost control of the vehicle. The Chevrolet ran off the road and struck a house. Malone then fled the scene on foot. At 10:47 a.m., state police apprehended him a short distance from the crashed vehicle. He was taken into custody without further incident and transported to Johnston Memorial Hospital for minor injuries sustained in the crash.
The house that was struck by Malone’s vehicle was occupied at the time of the crash, but no one inside was injured. No other motorists or law enforcement were injured during the course of the pursuits or crashes.