A 2000 Toyota being pursued by police on N.C. 268 East in North Wilkesboro Monday evening collided with two vehicles coming in the opposite direction, injuring their drivers, said North Wilkesboro Police Chief Joe Rankin.
Rankin said Ronnie Lee Wiles, 52, of Twin Hill Road, North Wilkesboro, lost control of the eastbound Toyota during the chase and collided with a westbound 2013 Kia driven by Jean Stanley Bell and then a westbound 2004 Pontiac driven by Kelly Ellis Bumgarner.
Rankin said Bumgarner and Bell were both injured, but Bell declined transport to a hospital. Wilkes Emergency Medical Services took Bumgarner to Wilkes Medical Center, where she was treated and released. Both women have North Wilkesboro addresses.
Rankin said Wiles wasn’t seriously injured. He said the Pontiac and Toyota were total losses and the Kia was heavily damaged.
The chief said Wiles was approaching the intersection of Aaron Call Road when he went left of center in an attempt to pass another eastbound vehicle, lost control and the Toyota struck the Kia and then the Pontiac.
North Wilkesboro police apprehended Wiles at the scene of the collisions and charged him with the following felony offenses: speeding to elude arrest, possession of schedule II drugs and two counts of aggravated serious injury by vehicle.
Wiles was also charged with the following misdemeanors: driving while impaired, driving while license revoked, failure to stop for blue lights and siren, driving with an open container of alcohol after drinking and possession of drug paraphernalia, all misdemeanor offenses.
Late Tuesday morning, Wiles was in the Wilkes County Jail with a $250,000 secured bond.
Rankin gave the following account of the incident, saying it began about 7:15 p.m. Monday when North Wilkesboro Officer Nathan Reavis stopped the Toyota on N.C. 268 East at OEM Express because Wiles has a suspended driver’s license. Sgt. Gary Tilley assisted Reavis.
After Reavis approached the Toyota on foot, spoke to Wiles and returned to his patrol car to confirm the driver’s identity and check for outstanding warrants, Wiles began spinning the Toyota’s tires and went east on N.C. 268 at a high rate of speed.
Reavis and Tilley then pursued the Toyota with their blue lights and sirens activated.
North Wilkesboro Officer John Vandervort was in the Blevins Building Supply parking lot along N.C. 268 East when he pulled out in front of the approaching Toyota and activated his blue lights and siren in an attempt to stop the vehicle.
The Toyota then passed Vandervort’s patrol car in a no passing zone near Frank’s Tools and continued eastbound on N.C. 268 at a high rate of speed until the collisions occurred.
Rankin said the entire chase was about two miles long.
The chief stated, “The amount of bond that the suspect was placed under shows the seriousness of his actions. He has a history of this type of behavior and it does not appear that he is going to change. Hopefully, the judicial process will remove this dangerous individual from the streets of our community.”