Car Chase That Began In Wilkesboro Ends In Boone, 75-Year-Old Driver Charged

Last Updated on July 30, 2019 6:56 pm

A 75-year-old Wilkesboro man is facing numerous charges after leading multiple law enforcement agencies on a mostly low-speed chase from Wilkesboro to Boone on Sunday.

The chase began around 7:40 pm when a Wilkesboro officer got a call about a 1970's GMC pickup driving in a careless and reckless manner and then stationary at the Cookout restaurant on highway 421, according to the Wilkes Journal-Patriot (WJP).

The pickup pulled out from Cookout, swerving on an access road, turned left onto the middle turn lane of 421 and was westbound when it nearly collided with a vehicle on the left side 421, the news outlet report goes on to say.

The Wilkesboro officer attempted to pull the pickup over but the driver, Herman Dean Bowlin, 75, of Walker Lane, Wilkesboro, didn't stop and continued to swerve in and out of the right lane.

The report goes on to say that the pickup passed a local restaurant going about 50 mph and later reached a top speed of 75 mph on the U.S. 421 bridge over Lewis Fork Creek.

Watauga County Sheriff Len Hagaman tells that North Carolina Highway Patrol successfully used stop sticks at the foot of the mountain (end of media 4-lane as US-421 starts it’s climb) rendering deflation on one side of the vehicle.

Sheriff Hagaman also added that Watauga County Deputies deployed stop sticks in the area around the 421 Food Lion, but the sticks failed to deploy properly and the vehicle moved around them. Boone PD deployed stop sticks successfully near Blue Ridge Energy's office and the 60 MPH chase ended.

No injuries were reported and the only property damage was to a mailbox that was struck, according to the WJP report.

When the driver, Bowlin, was asked by officers why he didn’t stop sooner he said that he knew a police officer was behind him but didn’t know why and didn’t see the blue lights, according to the WJP report.

Bowlin faces charges of fleeing to elude arrest, failure to maintain lane control, failure to heed blue lights and siren and driving left of center, and was placed under a $500 secured bond.

Officers saw no indication that Bowlin was under the influence of any impairing substance, according to the WJP report.

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