ELKINS, W.Va. — A woman has been charged after allegedly striking a State Police cruiser during a pursuit through Randolph County.
On June 15, troopers with the Randolph County detachment of the West Virginia State Police responded to the area of the “Dailey Straight” on U.S. Rt. 219 in Randolph County for a call of a suspicious male being in the area, according to a criminal complaint.
However, while en route to assist, troopers were notified of a cancellation of the request because the male was cooperative, and at that time, troopers observed a gray Toyota Highlander bearing a W.Va. registration pass a vehicle on the double yellow line of the highway, troopers said.
Due to the cruiser’s emergency lights and siren already being activated, troopers motioned for the Highlander’s driver, later identified as Stephanie Long, 38, but she “failed to yield and began fleeing south toward Mill Creek,” according to a complaint.
During that time, Long accelerated the vehicle to speeds of 75 miles per hour in a posted 45-mile-hour zone, and “passed another vehicle on a double yellow line while fleeing,” as well as fleeing a distance of “7.3 miles travelling mostly in the opposite lane of traffic,” troopers said.
When troopers performed a status check on the Highlander’s registration, which “did not return on any vehicle,” and upon entering Mill Creek, Long “blew a rear driver side tire,” which caused her to slow down, according to the complaint.
At that time, Long pulled the vehicle onto the shoulder and came to a stop, with troopers pulling in behind her, but “the vehicle then again accelerated,” this time striking troopers’ vehicle before her vehicle became disabled, troopers said.
Troopers then exited the cruiser, with one trooper being unable to exit due to Long’s “vehicle being pinned against his patrol vehicle,” and removed all the occupants from the Highlander, according to the complaint.
In an interview, Long stated that “when they observed [troopers] behind them,” one of her passengers “advised her to run,” and that the same passenger “stated to her multiple times to continue to flee and not pull over,” troopers said.
Further, Long stated that “they were tying to get away from [troopers] and reach Adolph Road,” and that “nobody in the vehicle ever told her to stop or pull over,” according to the complaint.
The pursuing troopers “never observed any attempt by any occupant of the vehicle to attempt to communicate or disassociate themselves from the driver’s intent to flee,” troopers said.
Also, after a search of the Highlander, troopers found a bag containing 0.5 grams presumed methamphetamine and a syringe which also contained presumed methamphetamine, according to the complaint.
An evaluation of the State Police cruiser showed “the extent of the damages to the multiple panels are consistent with damages totaling more than $2,500,” troopers said.
Long has been charged with destruction of property, assault during the commission of a felony and fleeing with reckless indifference. She is being held in Tygart Valley Regional Jail.