By Michael Howlett Staff Writer
December 3, 2013
A man who led a Carroll County deputy on a high-speed chase avoided serious injuries despite flipping his vehicle on the median of I-77 just south of the Poplar Camp exit.
Luke Payton, who recently moved from North Carolina to Smithfield, Va., was complaining of back and neck pain but showed no visual signs of injury following the wreck, according to Virginia State Trooper Shon Phillips. Payton was transported to Twin County Regional Hospital, where he was treated and released.
The chase began when Carroll County Deputy Bobby Lyons, who was parked at a crossover at the 19.5-mile marker, clocked Payton going over 90 mph in his 1997 Hyundai Piburon. Lyons gave chase and when he attempted to pull over Payton, a chase of approximately two miles ensued.
Carroll County Sheriff J.B. Gardner said at one point in the chase, Payton passed up to five cars on the right side of the interstate in the emergency lane.
The sheriff’s department has charged Payton with felony elude and reckless driving, while the state police has charged him with two counts of reckless driving, improper passing, expired registration, failure to obtain a Virginia license and failure to obtain insurance.