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High-Speed Kidnapping Chase in Wake County Ends in Crash, Suspect Jailed - Lizard Lick, NC, November 19, 2023

Lizard Lick, NC (November 19, 2023) - According to local news sources, a dramatic turn of events unfolded in Wake County on Sunday afternoon involving a high-speed chase and a subsequent crash. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol reported a purple Dodge Challenger, driven by 36-year-old Joshua Taylor Stokes, was involved in a pursuit exceeding 100 mph along Interstate 87/U.S. 64 in eastern Wake County.

Chase and Crash Details
The incident began when a car matching the description of a missing, endangered woman was spotted. Heather Oliver, the victim, was in the vehicle with Stokes, who was later identified as the suspect in her kidnapping. Troopers, attempting to intercept the vehicle, engaged in a pursuit that reached dangerous speeds of up to 146 miles per hour in a 65 mph zone. The chase covered several counties including Edgecombe, Nash, and Franklin, before reaching Wake County. Stokes executed a perilous maneuver, exiting at Lizard Lick Road, but lost control and crashed into a guardrail.

Victim and Suspect's Condition
Both Oliver and Stokes sustained minor injuries in the crash and were treated at Wake Medical Center. Notably, the Dodge Challenger was Oliver's vehicle, and she had an active domestic violence protection order against Stokes. The circumstances of her injuries, whether prior to or during the crash, remain unclear.

Legal Proceedings and Charges
Following the crash, Stokes was taken into custody and is currently held at the Wake County Jail, awaiting extradition to Virginia for further charges. He faces multiple charges, including first-degree kidnapping, driving while impaired, felonious restraint, felony flee to elude arrest, and reckless driving to endanger. An alert issued by the N.C. Center of Missing Persons concerning the kidnapping was canceled shortly after the crash.

Eyewitness Accounts
Eyewitnesses like Charles Buis described the harrowing scene. Buis, who narrowly escaped being hit by the speeding Challenger, recounted the vehicle's high speed and his relief at avoiding a potential collision.

Investigation and Road Closure
Law enforcement temporarily closed part of U.S. 64 and Lizard Lick Road for investigation. This high-profile case, originating in Chesapeake, Virginia, involved multiple law enforcement agencies, and was supported by technological aids such as phone pings to track the vehicle's movement across state lines.

Public Response and Safety Concerns
This incident has raised significant concerns about public safety, highlighting the dangers of high-speed pursuits and the importance of effective law enforcement coordination in such situations. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol emphasized the critical nature of the operation and the necessity of bringing a swift end to the perilous chase.

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