Driver of car that hit firehouse gets prison time - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Driver of car that hit firehouse gets prison time

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LENOIR, NC (WBTV) -

A man who was running from the law when he drove his car into a fire station in downtown Lenoir in October will spend at least the next 18 years in prison.

Ryan Jeffries, 38, of Asheville pleaded guilty to several drug charges on Tuesday, including trafficking. He was sentenced to a minimum 18 and a half years in prison and a maximum of 23 and a half years and fined $700,000.

Jeffries, according to authorities, was the target in an undercover operation by Lenoir Police and had made several deals with undercover officers. On October 8, officers moved in to make an arrest and Jeffries, along with a woman in the vehicle, took off.

As the chase moved into downtown Lenoir, Jeffries was unable to make a turn and plowed straight into a bay at the Fire Station. The car smashed through the bay door and hit a fire truck head-on.

Jefferies and his passenger were seriously hurt. Several firefighters jumped out of the way just in time and escaped injury. On Tuesday, scrape marks on the firehouse floor were still visible and a mark on the pavement outside where the car came careening through is still seen.

Other than that, officials say things are back to normal again at the firehouse and the truck, Rescue 12, has been repaired. Officials say some of fines Jeffries has been ordered to pay will go to the City of Lenoir to reimburse the city for the cost of repairing the fire truck which amounted to about $40,000.

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