State troopers arrest West Virginia man after Virginia pursuit that left three injured


(Photo: Courtesy Southwest Virginia Regional Jail)

TAZEWELL COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — A West Virginia man was arrested and two people in their 70s were hospitalized Tuesday following a pursuit through multiple Virginia counties during which the driver hit three vehicles, including two state police vehicles.

According to Virginia State Police, state troopers assisted the Tazewell Police Department in their pursuit of a 2012 Audi at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28. Police say the pursuit continued south along Route 19 into Russell County before the Audi turned around, headed north on Route 19, continued east on Route 460, and took the exit into the Town of Bluefield, where it crashed and struck a 2019 Kia Sorento on Virginia Avenue at Luther Street.

Authorities say they took the driver of the Audi — 22-year-old Brandon E. Rathburn of Princeton, West Virginia. — into custody without incident. Virginia State Police arrested Rathburn for DUID and charged him with malicious wounding of a police officer and felony eluding police, officials say.

Meanwhile, the Kia’s 75-year-old male driver was hospitalized for serious injuries while a 77-year-old female passenger was also hospitalized for a minor injury, according to Virginia State Police. In addition, Rathburn’s vehicle also struck two state police vehicles during the course of the pursuit, but police say only one of those struck sustained a minor injury.

Virginia State Police says the Tazewell Police Department, Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office, Russell County Sheriff’s Office, and Bluefield Police Department participated in the pursuit.

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