05/19/06 — Trucker takes officers for a ride

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Trucker takes officers for a ride

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on May 19, 2006 1:50 PM

A man who took a tractor-trailer truck from a Wayne County repair shop and led authorities on a two-county chase at speeds estimated up to 90 mph was arrested Thursday in Wilson County.

Wiley Lynn Ellis, 44, of Wilson was charged by the Highway Patrol and Wayne County sheriff's deputies with numerous traffic violations.

Ellis, a truck driver who works for Smith Transfer Co. in Wilson, allegedly took the big rig from George's Body Shop on Claridge Nursery Road.

Master Trooper R.T. Edwards said the chase began at 11:10 a.m. when he attempted to pull over the 18-wheeler on Nahunta Road on suspicion of reckless driving.

Ellis eluded arrest, got on N.C. 581 and drove at speeds of up to 90 mph during the 45-minute chase to Wilson, Edwards said. For the majority of the chase, Edwards was joined by another trooper.

Once Ellis pulled over the big rig on Tarboro Road in Wilson, two other Highway Patrol vehicles and Wayne County Sheriff's Sgt. Sherwood Daly and Deputy C.T. Arnold assisted in the arrest, Edwards said.

Edwards arrested Ellis on charges of felony fleeing arrest, reckless driving and driving while impaired by narcotics. Edwards did not identify the narcotic.

Arnold charged Ellis with failure to heed blue lights or a siren, traveling 85 mph in a 55- mph zone, driving left of center and a stop-sign violation.

Edwards brought Ellis to the Wayne County Jail.

"I was on the chase, so I brought him in," he said.

Ellis was jailed in lieu of a $30,000 secured bond, Edwards said.

Ellis' first appearance in Wayne County District Court was scheduled for today to determine his legal representation.

The tractor-trailer was returned to George's Body Shop, the report said.