VIPER- A high speed chase ended with one suspect in custody and one on the run.
According to Deputy Jerry Burns, with the Perry County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were conducting a road check on George’s Branch in the City of Vicco on April 22. Two subjects in a 2001 Buick came down from a strip job and stopped before approaching the road check. The driver turned the vehicle around, and as deputies approached to make contact, the Buick fled the scene.
Officers engaged in pursuit of the vehicle as it traveled back up the strip job, reported Burns. The pursuit traveled through Big Branch Road and onto Route 7 where deputies continued in a high-speed chase in which the subject reached speeds in excess of 90 miles per hour.
Deputies reported that the car almost hit five vehicles head on during the course of the pursuit, which ranged for approximately 13 miles. The chase ended rather abruptly.
“It [the Buick] ran out of gas and crashed into some rocks on the side of the road on Route 7,” said Burns.
The driver of the vehicle, 20-year-old Chris Shepherd, of Happy, fled the scene on foot.
“Shepherd then jumped out of the car and jumped into the river,” Burns reported.
The passenger, 21-year-old Dustin Ray Burkhead, of Vicco, was arrested at the scene.
“[The] passenger was apprehended and said that they were running because Shepherd had a warrant and they had been drinking,” Burns said, adding that the active warrant on Shepherd was for contempt of court.
The arrest citation stated that the subjects endangered the lives of six Perry County Deputies in the course of the chase.
Burkhead was charged with one count of fleeing or evading police in the first degree and one count of first-degree wanton endangerment of a police officer. Burkhead is being held at the Kentucky River Regional Jail on a $20,000 cash bond.
Sheriff’s deputies are still searching for Shepherd. If you have any information on his whereabouts please contact the Perry County Sheriff’s office at 439-1113.
Gwendolyn Holliday can be reached at 606-436-5771, or on Twitter @Hazard Herald.