This story has been updated to include additional details.

Update Jan. 10, 2020 1:10 p.m.:

A teenage girl is recovering from minor injuries received in a Wednesday afternoon crash following a high-speed police chase on Interstate 81 in Marion.

Smyth County Sheriff Chip Shuler said the pursuit began after a deputy who was shooting radar on the interstate in Groseclose attempted to stop a speeding Honda passenger car near the 54 mile marker. Instead of pulling to the shoulder, Shuler said, the driver of the Honda gave chase leading the deputy southbound along I-81 at speeds in excess of 100 mph.

Shortly after the pursuit left the interstate at exit 50 in Atkins, the driver lost control of the vehicle, leaving the roadway and crashing into a utility pole a short distance before the intersection of Highway 11 and Tranquility Lane, the sheriff said.

Pursuit crash

Shuler said the driver, a 16-year-old girl who had been reported as a runaway out of Fayetteville, North Carolina, received minor injuries in the crash. She was flown to the Bristol Regional Medical Center for treatment.

The vehicle, which Shuler said had been reported stolen out the Fort Bragg, North Carolina area, was nearly unrecognizable after the crash.

In Smyth County, the teen is charged with felony eluding police, reckless driving and possession of stolen property.

The sheriff’s office, department of social services and juvenile court services arranged for the girl’s parents to pick her up at the hospital. 

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Original Story Jan. 9, 2:03 p.m.:

A teenage girl is recovering from minor injuries received in a Wednesday afternoon crash following a high-speed police chase on Interstate 81 in Marion.

Smyth County Sheriff Chip Shuler said the pursuit began after a deputy who was shooting radar on the interstate in Atkins attempted to stop a speeding vehicle. Instead of pulling to the shoulder, Shuler said, the driver of the vehicle gave chase leading the deputy off I-81 at exit 47.

The vehicle crashed a short distance beyond the intersection of Highway 11 and Tranquility Lane, the sheriff said.

Shuler said the driver, a 16-year-old girl who had been reported as a runaway in another state, received minor injuries in the crash and was taken to the hospital, where police arranged for her parents to pick her up.

The vehicle, which had been reported stolen in another state, was significantly damaged in the crash, Shuler said. 

Charges are pending in the incident. Shuler expects speeding, eluding police and grand larceny of a vehicle to be among the charges.  

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