Deputy dismissed after losing control of car going 110-plus mph, crashing into parked vehicles in Caldwell Co.

Caldwell County deals with insurance after deputy's crash

CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A deputy has been dismissed after he lost control of his car and crashed into four parked vehicles in Caldwell County Saturday.

According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, the incident happened on Creekway Drive in Lenoir Saturday afternoon.

The deputy, who worked with the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, was assisting another deputy with a stolen vehicle chase when he was traveling Creekway Drive.

While on Creekway Drive, troopers say the deputy lost control of the car as he was coming around the corner, ran into a lot and hit four vehicles. Troopers say conditions were dry and sunny when the incident happened.

On Tuesday, county officials released new information on the deputy who was dismissed. It was 31 year old James Chester. He had been a deputy years ago but left voluntarily in 2016. He was rehired back in August of this year. His dismissal letter cites a violation of Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office Policy, Chapter 4, Section 401, Operation During Emergency Response.

The Highway Patrol is handling the investigation and indicated that their report may be issued on Wednesday afternoon. Meanwhile, the business that was affected by the accident is partly open again but equipment was damaged and part of the building as well.

Tracy Hartley said the damage total will run into the many tens of thousands of dollars. The county has turned the matter over to its insurance company but so far, adjusters have not been on the scene to take a look. Hartley hopes it happens soon “So we can get it fixed and can get back to normal, 100%.”

On Friday, Caldwell County released the findings of an internal investigation into the matter, reporting that Chester had been operating the vehicle at a speed in excess of 110 mph at the time of the accident. The vehicle had been en route to chase down a separate patrol car that had been reported stolen after a person had been assaulted with a knife. In addition to this, the investigation also stated that there were three deputies as well as three Lenoir Police officers on the scene before Chester had arrived.

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