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Man goes over 140 mph in stolen car on Interstate 81 trying to escape authorities, says Sheriff’s Office

Chase happened early Wednesday morning in Smyth County


SMYTH COUNTY, Va. – A man is in a Southwest Virginia jail after leading police on a high-speed chase, according to the Smyth County Sheriff’s Office.

At about 12:35 a.m. on Wednesday, a Smyth County deputy monitoring southbound traffic on Interstate 81 clocked a vehicle going 103 mph.

When the deputy attempted to stop the vehicle it continued driving, eventually exceeding 140 miles per hour, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

After the suspect twice hit deployed spike strips, he was stopped and arrested.

The chase went 24 miles down I-81, from mile marker 54, near Atkins, to mile marker 30, near Glade Spring.

The driver, 24-year-old Auvonne Zaapois Jones Jr., of Memphis, Tennessee, was charged with felony eluding police, reckless driving, and possession of stolen property, as the Sheriff’s Office said the car was stolen.

He is currently being held at the Abingdon Regional Jail without bond pending an arraignment in the Smyth County General District Court. 

There were no injuries in this event. 

Smyth County deputies were assisted by officers from the Chilhowie Police Department and the Virginia State Police.

About the Author:

Jeff Williamson arrived at WSLS 10 in March 2016.