Watauga County Sheriff’s Deputies were involved in a chase that eventually ended in Mountain City, TN on Monday. Late Monday afternoon (Nov 2,2015) detectives attempted to stop a Black Mitsubishi Eclipse with a fictitious Tennessee registration plate on George Wilson Road. Marked patrol units took over the pursuit at the intersection of George Wilson Road and Hodges Gap Road heading towards the 105 bypass, according to a Sheriff’s department report. The vehicle turned on the 105 bypass with speeds topping 70 mph. The vehicle then went into the opposite travel lane as it merged on to highway 421 north.
The vehicle passed multiple cars in a no passing zone near Linville Creek Road, before returning into the flow of traffic, and then passed many more cars on different sections of the road in Vilas. While attempting to ID the suspects in the vehicle, a deputy was side swiped on the passenger side of his vehicle. The North Carolina Highway Patrol joined the pursuit as the vehicle traveled toward Tennessee, with speeds over 100 mph before slowing down to 45 mph near the top of the three lane near Brown Road.
Deputies attempted to “box in” the vehicle to keep it from running, but the vehicle crossed into the opposite lane and continued toward Tennessee. With speeds again over 100 mph, Johnson County TN Deputies and the Mountain City Police Department joined the chase near the Midway community on highway 421. Law enforcement officers with the two Tennessee departments blocked off 421 at the Maymead Rock Quarry. The vehicle then pulled off 421 onto a gravel section at the quarry, upon re-entering 421 the vehicle wrecked down an embankment.
The two men in the vehicle exited, gave up, and were arrested without incident. Ronnie Jason Russell, the driver, of Piney Flats, TN was charged with several traffic violations, along with Felony assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer, and felony flee to elude. Christopher Sullivan, the passenger, of Bristol, TN still has charges pending. Both suspects are still being held in Tennessee as of Tuesday.