Juvenile killed in early morning pursuit; $100K in cigarettes found inside truck

By: Terry Harris | Email: Click Here
Updated: January 25, 2019 | 8:30 p.m

SUSSEX – Virginia State Police are investigating a watery crash in Sussex County following a high-speed chase resulting in the death of the fleeing juvenile driver early Wednesday morning.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was also contacted when the pickup operated by the deceased male juvenile was found to be filled with cigarettes.

According to Sussex County Sheriff Ernest Giles, at 6:40 a.m., Deputy Matt Rawls was running stationary radar on Interstate 95 when he observed a blue 2015 Toyota Tundra Platinum pickup truck traveling at a high rate of speed.

He activated his radar and determined that the truck was going 87 mph in a 70 mph zone. By the time Rawls activated his emergency equipment to pull out, Giles said, the pickup had already accelerated to 94 mph. Officer Rawls kept visual contact as the driver took the off-ramp, Giles continued, then pursued the vehicle at a distance.

The wreckage of the Toyota pickup truck that was involved in the Wednesday morning pursuit. Authorities say the vehicle was driven by a juvenile and the truck was filled with an estimated $100,000 worth of cigarettes. (Sussex Sheriff’s Office)

During the pursuit, he observed that the brake lights were not activated as the driver approached the intersection of highway 602 at the mile marker 33 exit ramp and did not stop at the stop sign. As the chase continued, Sheriff Giles said that the truck ran across the median, took down trees in the westbound lane, and finally the driver lost control of the vehicle in a sharp curve, hit a tree, and plummeted into Blackwater Swamp.

According to Giles, when the partially submerged vehicle was reached with assistance from the Stony Creek Fire Department, they found the driver, who state police indicate was killed on impact and an estimated $100,000 worth of cigarettes in the vehicle – which is illegal in Virginia without a distributor’s license.

As of this report, law enforcement was unable to release additional information.

State police, the county sheriff’s office, and the ATF are continuing their investigation, and identification of the juvenile driver is being withheld until next of kin can be notified.

– – – – ORIGINAL REPORT BELOW – – – –

By: Michael Campbell | Twitter: @itsthesoup
Posted: January 30, 2019 | 10:30 a.m.

SUSSEX – One person has died following a police pursuit involving Sussex County Sheriff’s Office deputies.

According to Sgt. Michelle Anaya of Virginia State Police, just after 6:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, the agency was advised by the Sussex Sheriff’s Office that deputies had engaged in a pursuit of a vehicle that resulted in the vehicle crashing along Cabin Point Road (Route 602), killing the driver.

As a result, the sheriff’s office asked that Virginia State Police investigate the accident, with that investigation now in its early stages.

The identity of the driver who died in the crash has not been revealed by Virginia State Police. Inquiries regarding the circumstances surrounding the pursuit were directed to the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office but calls to Sussex Sheriff Ernest Giles were not answered as of the time of this report.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available from law enforcement.

Stay with The Sussex-Surry Dispatch for the latest information on this developing story.

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