More details about chase that resulted in fatality

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Deputy Curtis Bartlett was on his way to assist with a police pursuit when he crashed

Staff Report


HILLSVILLE — The Carroll County Sheriff’s Department has released more details about a police chase that resulted in the death of Deputy Curtis Bartlett on March 9.

Bartlett was on his way to join the pursuit of a suspect who fled from deputies when his patrol car collided with a tractor-trailer. He died at the scene.

The pursuit to which Bartlett was responding began at approximately 9:50 p.m.

A report issued by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office on Friday night said that Lt. W.R. Lyons of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department attempted to stop a speeding 4-door sedan traveling south on Interstate 77 at the 18 mile marker in Carroll County.

Radar registered the vehicle traveling 87 mph in the posted 65 mph zone, the report said.

Lyons activated his patrol vehicle’s emergency lights, but the sedan refused to stop and a pursuit was initiated, the report said. The sedan continued south on I-77 and took Exit 14 to U.S. 58. The sedan headed west on 58 and then turned onto Airport Road.

“The car continued through a field, struck a fence and eventually made its way into the backyard of a nearby residential neighborhood, where it finally stopped,” the report said.

The driver, Joseph A. Lambert, 21, of Goodview, then fled on foot, but was apprehended moments later and taken into custody without further incident. Gardner said his officers were “yelling for help” with the pursuit and Bartlett was responding to that call.

“The car’s two passengers, an adult male and an adult female, remained with the vehicle. Neither passenger was charged with any offense,” the report said.

Lyons charged Lambert with one felony count of eluding police, resulting in the death of a police officer; possession of marijuana; reckless driving and driving on a suspended license. Lambert was also wanted on outstanding warrants in the City of Salem.

Lambert is being held at the New River Valley Regional Jail without bond.

The pursuit remains under investigation by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office.

Virginia State Police assisted with the pursuit.