Nicholas Abel

Nicholas Ryan Abel

A Pennsylvania man now faces charges in Smyth County after police say he led deputies on a high-speed chase through Atkins Thursday night.

The 17-minute pursuit began on Interstate 81 near Atkins after a deputy initiated a traffic stop on a man driving a motorcycle. Rather than stop, Sheriff Chip Shuler said, the man gave chase, reaching speeds of 140 miles per hour and leading police off of exit 50 in Atkins and through several back roads. At one point the pursuit reached Highway 16 before returning to the interstate, where Nicholas Ryan Abel was taken into custody attempting to enter the on ramp.

Abel, 26, of New Cumberland, Penn., is charged with reckless driving and eluding law enforcement. Shuler said deputies discovered a loaded firearm in Abel’s possession, but no firearms charges have been filed.

Ryan was booked at the regional jail in Abingdon and released on a $1,500 secured bond.


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