PATRICK COUNTY, VA – An Ararat man is in critical condition following a pursuit, according to Patrick County Sheriff Dan Smith.
The incident occurred at 11:35 p.m. on Saturday when Deputy Lewis Carroll Jr. observed a 2006 Hyundai Sonata travelling at a high rate of speed on Ararat Highway.
A pursuit ensued when Carroll attempted to stop the vehicle.
The suspect vehicle turned onto Raven Rock Road and reached speeds in excess of 80 mph, with Deputy Carroll still pursuing.
Smith stated that the suspect lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree at the intersection of Raven Rock Road and River Road.
The suspect vehicle caught on fire as a result of the crash, and Deputy Carroll attempted to extinguish the fire.
Carroll successfully extracted all three occupants as the fire began to overtake the vehicle.
Carroll also attempted to rescue a dog from inside the vehicle but could not Smith said, because the fire had completely engulfed the vehicle by that point.
Sammy Wayne Smith, 48, of Ararat, was the driver of the vehicle and was airlifted to Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem with life threatening injuries.
Two other adult male occupants, ages 18 and 26, also sustained serious injury and were transported from the scene by ambulance.
Smith stated that his agency contacted the Virginia State Police to assist and conduct the crash scene investigation due to the fact that a Patrick County deputy initiated the pursuit that ended with serious injury to the suspects.
“It is obvious that all three men would have burned to death if Carroll had not have acted so decisively.”
Multiple charges are pending against Smith, according to the sheriff.