MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — On Sunday night, Christiansburg police officers and Virginia state troopers had their hands full chasing a driver who was leading a high-speed chase through multiple localities.
According to the Christiansburg Police Department, the incident began shortly before 9:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 17, when an officer with the department was conducting a business check at Power Zone along Roanoke Street in Christiansburg.
The business has been the target of several larcenies in the past, including one just a few weeks ago.
While at the business, as the officer was leaving the lot, his patrol vehicle was said to have been nearly hit by another vehicle leaving the area at a high rate of speed.
The officer tried to stop the vehicle, but the car accelerated and entered I-81 North, continuing at a high rate of speed, at times exceeding 100 mph.
Christiansburg Police were assisted by Virginia State Police, who continued to pursue the vehicle approximately 19 miles through Montgomery and Roanoke counties to exit 137 in Salem.
State troopers attempted to use tire deflation devices to stop the vehicle, but the driver was able to avoid them. The vehicle then exited the interstate and made several u-turns.
Police tried to block the vehicle to end the chase, but the driver was again able to escape.
The driver re-entered I-81, this time traveling southbound up the northbound exit ramp, going the wrong way against traffic.
Officers decided not to pursue the wrong-way driver up the ramp. Instead, they went to the southbound lanes and re-entered the interstate, attempting to keep the vehicle in sight.
When they got to the top of the ramp, they found the vehicle abandoned on the northbound shoulder. The driver was said to have run away.
Officers searched the area, but were unable to locate the driver.
According to authorities, the pursuit lasted approximately 13 minutes.
The vehicle, a rental, was recovered and items discovered inside supported the suspicion that the driver of the vehicle may have been involved with several recent larcenies of power equipment that have occurred in the NRV.
The incident remains under investigation.