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Car chase becomes fatal

The Virginia State Police are investigating a fatal crash that occurred around 4 p.m. Thursday on Route 8 at the intersection with Ashby Drive. The crash occurred while the vehicle was being pursued by the Patrick County Sheriff’s Office.

The fleeing vehicle, a stolen 1987 Jeep Commanche, was traveling south on Route 8 when it attempted to turn onto Ashby Drive, ran off the right side of the roadway and down a steep embankment. The driver, Joseph Lee Eugene Duncan, Jr., 28, of Galax, Va. died at the scene. 

Patrick County Sheriff Dan Smith said the incident began on US 58 east of Stuart when the sheriff’s office attempted to stop the Jeep driving at an excessive speed. The vehicle failed to stop and crossed over into the oncoming lane of travel prior to entering the town limits.

Deputies blocked the intersection at Walmart and blocked the eastbound lane US 58 at the hospital, forcing the suspect back into the westbound lane. The suspect side-swiped a vehicle at the intersection of Patrick Avenue and South Main Street. The suspect, running on two blown tires at this point, continued on South Main Street until attempting to turn right onto Ashby Drive.

The suspect vehicle exited the roadway at this point and went over an embankment. The 1987 Jeep had been reported stolen from Mt. Airy, NC. Duncan was a fugitive wanted from both Carroll County and the City of Galax.

Per sheriff’s office policy, the Virginia State Police are handling the crash investigations Smith stated.

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