Two Virginia State Police troopers continue to recover tonight after being injured in a pursuit Tuesday afternoon (April 9) in Scott County.
Virginia Senior Trooper J.C. (Jamie) Lawson remains in serious condition at Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tenn. Virginia Senior Trooper B.K. (Brian) Hubbard has been treated and released from Wellmont Holston Valley Medical Center.
The pursuit began at approximately 1:20 p.m. near the intersection of Route 704 and Route 903 when a 2005 Sedona Kia, driven by Jason T. Byrns, 33, of Kingsport, Tenn., attempted to evade a law enforcement checking detail. The pursuit began in Weber City, traveled through Gate City, and then onto Route 870 (Daniel Boone Highway) where the suspect vehicle was forced to stop on a service road at a gated, dead end.
As Sr. Trooper Lawson and a Scott County Sheriff’s Deputy pulled in behind, the suspect vehicle backed into both patrol cars, turned around and drove back to Route 870.
As it pulled onto Route 870, the Kia Sedona struck two more law enforcement vehicles and then headed east on Route 870 with Trooper Lawson in pursuit. As the two vehicles continued east on Route 870, the suspect vehicle rammed the trooper’s car. The trooper’s vehicle was forced off the left side of the road where it struck a parked, heavy-duty pickup truck head-on.
According to law enforcement officials, Scott County Sheriff’s Deputies, Jim Benton and Jeff Thacker, were also injured during the chase. The suspect reportedly didn’t stop because he was driving on a suspended license.
The Kia Sedona crashed moments later. Byrns was taken into custody without incident by 1:37 p.m. Byrns has been charged with attempted capital murder of a police officer and one felony count of eluding police. He is being held in the Southwest Regional Jail in Duffield.
During the course of the pursuit, Senior Trooper Hubbard, 48, was responding to assist when he was involved in a separate crash on Route 870, east of Route 23. His patrol vehicle ran off the right side of the road, hit an embankment and struck a bridge.
Both Senior Troopers are assigned to Scott County. The crashes remain under investigation at this time. The Virginia State Police Wytheville Division’s Accident Reconstruction Team and Bureau of Criminal Investigation are assisting with the investigation.