Officials ID suspect in wild crash, multi-county police chase on I-95

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The Harnett County Sheriff's Office has identified the man responsible for the crash on I-95 Thursday afternoon, which led to a lengthy police chase (WTVD)

The Harnett County Sheriff's Office has identified the man responsible for the crash on I-95 Thursday afternoon, which led to a lengthy police chase.

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According to law officers, at 4:20 p.m., Raymond Lee Bryant Jr., 44, of Roseboro, who was driving a 1997 Ford Ranger "in the shoulder of the road, passing everybody," lost control and traveled across the northbound lanes of I-95 and struck another car.

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A man is facing multiple charges after a crash, carjacking and lengthy police chase.



Officials said Bryant got out of his truck and fired a shot - apparently from a shotgun - into the driver-side window of a tractor-trailer that had stopped because of the crash.



"He did take what appears to be a 20-gauge shotgun and shot into the driver's side of the tractor-trailer that penetrated the window and went up through the sun visor," Harnett County Sheriff Wayne Coats said. "They were fortunate enough to jump out on the passenger side and get away, and then he approached another tractor-trailer behind them, and then approached the vehicle that he carjacked."

Right after, deputies said the driver and passenger of that vehicle got out of the tractor-trailer and Bryant tried to get into the big rig's cab but was unsuccessful.



Steve Kanode was driving a FedEx truck that Bryant nearly hit. Kanode told ABC11 that he was headed home to Richmond, Virginia from Jacksonville, Florida.

"He then got out of the truck with two shotguns, he fired at one truck. Then he approached the Western Express truck, fired twice into the Western Express truck, they jumped out and were fleeing for their lives along with the guy in the Koch truck," Kanode said.

Bryant then stole a pickup at gunpoint and fled north on I-95, leaving the driver and the passenger behind, according to deputies.

"We're just lucky that nobody was injured," Coats said.

Terry Price was a passenger in the pickup that Bryant successfully stole. Bryant and the driver of that vehicle were headed to Norfolk, Virginia, from South Carolina for a job.

"I knew our truck was next," Price told ABC11. "So I was passenger side, I got out and left the truck, the driver stayed in there. They tussled with the gun. He said all, 'I want is your truck or I'll blow your head off,' so we gave him the truck."

Price said he went running down 95 North on the shoulder.

"I knew I wasn't going to get hurt because I left the truck. He had to do a lot of running to catch me. I was far gone," Price said. "As I'm running, I'm telling everyone, 'y'all better leave your vehicle because a man coming with a gun.' If he couldn't get that truck, he's going to get the next one."

As luck would have it, Price said, the truck only had a quarter of a tank of gas when it was stolen.

Authorities said Bryant took off with the pickup and Johnston County deputies and Selma police followed.



The chase continued into Nash County.

A state trooper was able to stop Bryant near the 149 Mile Marker and take him into custody without incident.

"it appears at this time it was road rage," Coats said.



A shotgun was recovered at the crash scene, and a handgun was found at the end of the chase in the stolen car. Coats said the handgun belonged to the carjacking victim.

Troopers said two shotguns were also recovered.

Officials also seized 11 ounces of marijuana, which was valued at $1,650.

The Harnett County Sheriff's Office is working with the North Carolina Highway Patrol on this investigation.

No injuries were reported.

I-95 northbound lanes reopened shortly before 8 p.m.

"It was just a crazy, crazy day," Kanode said. "I'm glad no one got hurt. Another day in the crazy world we live in."

Charges

Bryant has been charged with DWI, felony speed to elude, resisting a public official, failure to heed to blue lights/siren, improper passing, possession of a stolen firearm, and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

He faces up to 42 months in prison.

The charges all are from Nash County, where the chase ended.

He was booked into the Nash County Sheriff's Office Detention Center.
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