After leading police on a chase down U.S. 119 with speeds approaching 70 mph, Betty Drew, 60 of Harlan, was arrested and lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center. Charged with second-degree fleeing or evading police, second-degree wanton endangerment and reckless driving. Drew was released from jail on Friday after posting bond.
Lynch Police Chief Mike Nunley said on Thursday, at approximately 8 p.m. he observed a 1999 silver Pontiac Grand Am on U.S. 119 in the southbound lane near Cumberland weaving in and out of traffic.
“She crossed the center line and almost caused a head-on collision with the opposing traffic,” said Nunley. “After I initiated a traffic stop with my blue lights and siren, the vehicle pulled over on the shoulder just before the Sand Hill Bottom turn off. While in the process of exiting my cruiser to approach the suspect’s vehicle, the vehicle began to move forward and pulled back onto U.S. 119, heading toward Harlan.”
Nunley said it was at this time he began a vehicle pursuit. He said the vehicle proceeded toward Harlan for approximately 10 miles, and just a short distance from the Putney intersection, the pursuit ended when units from the Kentucky State Police, Harlan County Sheriff’s Office and the Benham City Police Department boxed the suspect’s vehicle in forcing the vehicle to pull off and come to a stop.
“Upon further investigation, it was determined that Betty Drew, of the Harlan area, was the operator of the vehicle,” said Nunley. “She was arrested and lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center. This could have potentially been a dangerous situation if not for the assistance of all the agencies involved.”
In an unrelated case, Nunley said on Wednesday, at approximately 8 p.m., he received a call of an automobile wreck on top of Black Mountain in Lynch. He said upon arrival, along with LifeCare Ambulance Service and the Benham Police Department, Lynch Police Officer Drew Wilson found a vehicle approximately 20 feet over the mountain overturned on its top in a drain culvert.
“There were four people in the vehicle, three had managed to get out and one was still trapped in the vehicle,” said Nunley. “Officer Wilson and members of LifeCare were very brave when they risked their lives to climb down the mountainside to rescue the young lady trapped in the vehicle, probably saving her life.”
The four people involved in the wreck were transported to the Harlan ARH Hospital. The driver, John Turner and passengers David Barker, Jimmy Arnett and Christy Doffermyer were all from the Big Stone Gap and Appalachia, Va. area.
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