06/26/08 — Chase ends with drunken driving charge

View Archive

Chase ends with drunken driving charge

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on June 26, 2008 1:46 PM

An allegedly drunken high-speed chase lasted about 40 minutes Wednesday evening before authorities threw out tire-puncture sticks to stop a Princeton man's vehicle in Johnston County, authorities said.

The chase reportedly started when Trooper M.G. Connelly saw a Chevrolet dual-rear-wheel pickup truck speeding on U.S. 70 near Wayne Memorial Drive, Sgt. K.W. Cook said.

Its driver, Johnny Ray Phillips of Princeton, initially stopped for the trooper, according to the sergeant.

But when Connelly started approaching the vehicle, Phillips took off, the sergeant said.

Speeds during the chase varied because the path was loopy, Cook said, beginning with a North William Street, moving to Salem Church Road, then Buck Swamp Road, Cook said.

The rate of speed was varied between 40 and 100 mph during the chase, Cook said.

Phillips eventually took a connector road to Pikeville-Princeton Road, which landed him back on U.S. 70 West near Princeton, the sergeant said.

A Johnston County Sheriff's Office deputy was on hand with tire-puncture sticks, commonly referred to as "stop sticks," police said.

That popped two of Phillips' tires, but it wasn't enough to stop him, Cook said.

He took off running and led authorities on a 7-minute chase before being apprehended in a wooded area on the north side of U.S. 70, the sergeant said.

Primary charges against him include driving while impaired, felonious fleeing to elude arrest and driving with a revoked license from a prior drunk driving charge, Cook said.

Phillips' vehicle was seized because he was driving with a revoked license, the sergeant said.