Man accused of leading Hickory police on chase ending in deadly crash due in court

Cynthia Lail and her 12-year-old son were killed after a police cruiser hit their van during the chase.
Chanceler Timothy Johnson is accused of driving recklessly on a motorcycle, prompting a chase that ended in a deadly crash.
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 4:57 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - The motorcycle driver accused of leading Hickory Police on a chase that ended with a deadly crash will face a judge in Catawba County on Wednesday.

Police said 24-year-old Chanceler Johnson was taken into custody yesterday. He’s now charged with two counts of felony eluding arrest in a motor vehicle causing death, and one count of violating his probation.

Johnson is accused of driving recklessly on Sept. 8, prompting police to pursue him on Highway 70 Southwest near 4th Street Southwest. As the chase continued down the highway, a police cruiser collided with a minivan at the intersection of 13th Street Southwest.

Inside the van was Cynthia Lail and her 12-year-old son, Michael. Lail died at the scene, while her son later died at the hospital.

Police said Johnson drove away after the crash.

Investigators had been looking for him for more than a week before he was arrested.

NC State Highway Patrol is investigating the crash and the Hickory police officer’s actions.

Jail records show that Johnson remains in jail under a $85,000 total bond.

Related: Investigation continues after crash involving Hickory police kills mom, 12-year-old son

Watch continuous news coverage here: