I-85 chase lands woman in hospital, suspect flees

22-year-old DeMarcus Griggs (Durham County Sheriff's Office)

April 4, 2010 9:00:00 PM PDT
A man fleeing from police crashed into a driver on I-85 near the Orange/Durham county line Monday evening.Authorities say it started around 5 p.m. when a Durham County sheriff's deputy stopped a vehicle. The suspect, who had several warrants out for his arrest, took off.

Eyewitness Matt Bowes said he was driving on the southbound lanes of I-85 when he saw a black car roar past him. By then, authorities say they had already called off the pursuit, but 22-year-old DeMarcus Griggs kept going.

"He [Griggs] was speeding about 110, 115 mph down the side," Bowes said. "Next thing you know, he lost control."

Deputies say Griggs slammed into a truck driven by a 20-year-old Elon University student from Maryland.

"She lost it, started flipping, there was nothing she could do," Bowes said. "She flipped the truck about 11 to 12 times. We jumped out and ran to see if everybody was okay."

Bowes says crews had a difficult time rescuing her from the wreckage.

"They pulled her out and he had to pry the doors apart and everything," he said.

A life flight helicopter responded to the scene and took the woman to Duke Hospital. Authorities said her injuries were not life threatening.

Meanwhile, Griggs fled the scene but was found in a nearby wooded area and taken into custody. He is now facing a number of charges, including felony hit-and-run. Griggs is now in the Durham County Jail under a $300,000 bond.

The interstate had to be closed down as authorities responded to the scene, causing traffic to be backed up for miles.

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