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HILLSVILLE — While helping pursue a stolen vehicle Monday evening, a Carroll deputy’s police car hydroplaned on U.S. 221 in Hillsville, resulting in minor injuries to the law enforcement officer.
Sheriff Warren Manning said that Deputy Bobby Lyons responded and was trying to cut off a suspected car thief from Galax, who fled from a Virginia State Police trooper.
The pursuit of the stolen vehicle, conducted by Trooper K.D. Blackburn, ended up on Freemont Road, according to Sgt. S.E. Lowe of the Virginia State Police. Blackburn asked for backup after the suspect abandoned the vehicle fled on foot.
Lyons, headed north on 221, was making his way to the intersection where Hardscuffle Road, 221 and Virginia 100 connect. As the chase had been near Snake Creek Road and U.S. 58, Lyons wanted to cut off a possible escape route for the suspect on Hardscuffle.
But before he got there, the deputy hit water just past Russell’s Garage, Manning said. His vehicle went over the embankment and turned on its side.
Lyons was taken to Twin County Regional Hospital, where he received stitches.
Manning said Lyons would take a day off and then see how soon he could return to work.
“Life happens,” the sheriff said. “We never want that to happen. We’re just glad he wasn’t hurt too bad.”
The police car had some damage. Manning said an insurance adjuster will inspect it and make an estimate.
The stolen vehicle, a 2002 Ford F150, was recovered. Galax Police Lt. James Cox said the truck was taken from the parking lot of El Torito restaurant on East Stuart Drive.
The victim told police that she left the keys in the vehicle and, when she got off work about 3:30 p.m. Monday, the truck was missing.
Witnesses observed a dark-skinned male with short hair wearing a white short-sleeved shirt, approximately 20 to 30 years of age.
The trooper located the vehicle on 58 and chased it onto Freemont Road, then to Tall Pines and down an old logging road. The driver ended up bailing out in a field, Cox said.
Officers and canine units from Galax, Carroll and Grayson searched the area.
Anybody with information on this matter are encouraged to call the Galax Police Department at (276) 236-8101.
“We’d really like to urge everyone to lock their vehicles and take their keys out,” Cox said.
People should not hesitate to call police if they see any suspicious persons looking into vehicles parking lot, either, he added.