Officers pursue driver in destructive high speed chase

An attempted early morning traffic stop resulted in a high speed pursuit that continued for an estimated 30 miles, a large amount of property damage and the arrest of three individuals.

Lee County Sheriff Gary Parsons reports that deputy sergeant J.T. Coleman attempted to stop a white ford explorer on state route 23 in the Jasper section of Lee County at around 3:00am.

Parsons said the vehicle refused to stop. Coleman began a chase that traveled across Love Lady Road back over into the Dryden section of Lee County. The vehicle then sped up Highway 58 toward Wise County.

According to Parsons Coleman advised the Wise County Sheriff’s Office who laid a spike strip to stop the vehicle. However the driver turned before reaching the strip. The Wise County Officers then joined in the chase.

Parsons said the chase ended up on Hen Reasor road. During the chase the vehicle crashed through cattle gates and one barn. The officers reached a point where they could no longer pursue in a vehicle. The officers then got out and followed on foot.

Parsons said after walking some distance officers found the vehicle which then tried to run them over before crashing into a tree. The occupants refused to exit the vehicle, so officers had to break the windows to remove them.

According to Parsons there were four occupants in the vehicle. 29 year old Tamara Sue Gilbert of 450 Orby Cantrell Highway Big Stone Gap, 30 year old James Brandon Head of 1851 Sycamore Road Appalachia, 26 year old Gerald Lee Mullins of 300 Beech Street Bristol, Virginia and a sixteen year old Juvenile.

Parsons said that Gilbert and Head were charged with Drunk in Public. The driver Mullins was charged with three counts of assault on Lee County Deputies, two counts of assault on Wise County Deputies, one count a malicious assault on Coleman, two counts reckless driving, third offense driving suspended, driving while intoxicated, Refusal of blood or breath test, felony eluding, and child abuse and possession of drug paraphernalia. There will be further charges concerning property damage. Mullins was also wanted in Wise County for Drug Distribution. The Juvenile was turned over to social services.

Parsons commended the work of the officers and thanked the Wise County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance.

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