Additional charges have come forward in the police pursuit that occurred Friday, April 8 and ended in a deadly crash in Patrick County.
On Wednesday, the driver, 41-year-old Christine S. Barnette of Cary North Carolina was charged with a felony charge of eluding police, a felony charge of not reporting an accident, two felony charges of assault and battery of a police office, four misdemeanor charges of failure to obey a traffic signal and a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving, operating a vehicle with improper breaks, according to Halifax County Sheriff Office records.
Barnette had previously been charged with charges of breaking and entering, reckless driving, defrauding an inn keeper, felony eluding police, trespassing and vehicular homicide.
The police pursuit began at Staunton River State Park when the woman ran from the cabin and got into her vehicle, described as a 2010 Toyota. Law enforcement rangers first pursued the suspect as she raced from the scene.
“As the vehicle left the state park, Halifax County Sheriff’s Office pursued the vehicle and attempted a vehicle containment, but suspect vehicle forcefully exited the vehicle containment, striking a deputy’s vehicle,” Richard Garletts, a spokesperson with the Virginia State Police wrote in release.
Numerous agencies were notified of the incident, and after going through Danville and Pittsylvania County along U.S. 58, the vehicle was located shortly before 1 p.m. traveling through Martinsville.
That’s when Martinsville police tried to stop the car, and it “again, would not stop,” Garletts reported. The chase continued through Henry County.
State police joined as the pursuit left Martinsville, he said.
According to the Patrick County Sheriff’s Office, it was about 1 p.m. when the 911 center received a call that the Martinsville Police Department and Virginia State Police were in pursuit of a white Toyota Corolla driving recklessly at high speeds on U.S. 58 coming into Patrick County.
In a Facebook post, Patrick County authorities said deputies — and state police troopers — tried to stop the vehicle with spike strips, but the suspect, who was continuing to “drive recklessly,” avoided each attempt.
Shortly before 1:20 p.m. — while being pursued west on U.S. 58 in Patrick County — the suspect vehicle crossed the median into eastbound lanes of travel and collided head-on with a 2005 Toyota Corolla.
The driver of the 2005 Toyota was identified as Bobby Wayne Gammons, 81, of Mount Airy, North Carolina. State police report Gammons was wearing his seat belt and died at the scene.
Barnette, also hurt in the crash, was airlifted to Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Garletts did not provide details on her condition.