Officer taken to hospital after 2 county chase down I-95 and I-40; Gun found inside suspect's car

Thursday, March 16, 2023
Driver arrested after 2-county chase
Driver arrested after 2-county chase that left six law enforcement vehicles damaged.

HARNETT COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- A chase that began in Johnston County and ended in Harnett County damaged a total of six law enforcement vehicles.

Three Highway Patrol vehicles and two Johnston County Sheriff's Office cars were damaged in the chase with the suspect's vehicle. A Four Oaks police car became "disabled" during the pursuit when the suspect struck the officer's vehicle.

The chase started Thursday morning near Four Oaks after officers tried to pull the driver over for expired tags. According to NCSHP, the driver sped down Hodges Chapel Church Road to I-95 and onto U.S. 421 where troopers used a PIT maneuver to disable the car.

Sam Honeycutt was an eyewitness to the end of the pursuit.

He said he was about to go outside to cut his grass when he heard sirens blasting and soon saw a car careening into his front yard.

"You see it on TV sometimes, but I saw it in real life today," Honeycutt said. "When I saw Highway Patrol first hit him, and then I saw the car coming down through the ditch, I was scared he was coming over in my momma's yard here."

He said the driver got the car back on the road only to cross over the median and toward oncoming traffic.

"Going into oncoming traffic, you know, he didn't care what he was doing," Honeycutt said.

That's when law enforcement officers were able to box him in and end the chase.

ABC11 Chopper Video

A chase that began in Johnston County and ended in Harnett County damaged three North Carolina State Highway Patrol vehicles.

A spokesman for the Highway Patrol said the agency was notified just before 10 a.m. that a Four Oaks police officer was involved in a pursuit on I-40 westbound, and that's when troopers joined the effort.

One woman was taken into custody when she got out of the suspect's vehicle near Coats Erwin Middle School on Red Hill Church Road. The driver was taken into custody at Cape Fear Christian Academy.

An Erwin officer was taken to the hospital for evaluation. Erwin Police Chief Jonathan Johnson told ABC11 late Thursday afternoon that the officer is OK and has been released from the hospital.

At least one gun was found inside the car during the search, the NCSHP confirmed. Drugs including methamphetamine and fentanyl were found in the car during a search.

Four Oaks Police Chief Stephen Anderson said the names of suspects are not being released while police are investigating.

Four Oaks Police is the primary investigative agency.

Charges are pending.