Man charged after vehicle chase ends in multi-car crash - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Man charged after vehicle chase ends in multi-car crash

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Jonathan Wayne Willis (Alexander Co. Sheriff's Office) Jonathan Wayne Willis (Alexander Co. Sheriff's Office)

Investigators in Alexander County arrested a man who led them on a high speed chase and crashed into two other cars Tuesday.

The chase started when a deputy spotted a 2014 Hyundai Elantra driving recklessly on Wayside Church Road, according to the news release from the Alexander County Sheriff's Office.

The driver of the car refused to stop for the deputy.

This led to a chase through Alexander County and into Catawba County.

Alexander County Authorities have released the dash-cam video of the chase. It shows the deputy, for most of the 20 mile chase, kept his distance from the suspect vehicle as it ran red light after red light.

"I stayed back for my safety and the safety of others around me," said Sgt. Jon Hayes. Authorities are reviewing the tape and all the actions on Tuesday. "So far it appears all procedures were followed properly," said Chief Deputy Tod Jones.

The fact that the suspect was armed with a loaded handgun and had a significant amount of drugs is evidence that the suspect was potentially dangerous, said Jones.

The chase ended with the suspect vehicle colliding with two cars at the intersection of 321 and Old Lenoir Road in Hickory near the Crawdad's Stadium, according to the release. 

The driver jumped out of his car and tried to run away. 

A deputy and two bystanders caught the man. 

The driver was identified as Jonathan Wayne Willis, 29, of Hickory, according to the release. 

Deputies found a 9mm handgun along with a quantity of cocaine and pills in the car. 

Willis was charged with driving while license revoked, hit and run, driving while intoxicated, flee/elude arrest, possession of firearm by felon, possession with intent to manufacture/sell/deliver cocaine, and trafficking in opium or heroin with more charges pending. 

Willis is being held at the Alexander County Detention Center under an $88,500 secured bond.

A second suspect ran from the vehicle on foot at this time has not been arrested.

The investigation is continuing.

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