Police: Car chase from Belpre to Parkersburg nets two arrests

Parkersburg Police officers search a car that was involved in a pursuit from Belpre into Parkersburg on Friday morning after its occupants were arrested at the GoMart on Camden Avenue. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

PARKERSBURG — An attempt to pull over a reportedly stolen vehicle in Belpre on Friday morning sparked a car chase that traveled into and around Parkersburg.

Michael Westfall, 50, of Coolville, was arrested on two counts of fleeing with reckless indifference resulting in injury and possession of a stolen vehicle, Parkersburg Police Chief Matthew Board said.

Fleeing resulting in injury counts stem from Wood County Sheriff Rick Woodyard and Chief Deputy Mike Deem being in an accident assisting in the pursuit, he said.

Westfall also had 19 outstanding warrants between West Virginia and Ohio, including multiple felony capias warrants for failure to appear, Board said. The nature of those charges were not immediately available, but other warrants were for charges including drug possession, petit larceny, obstructing and motor vehicle violations.

An automated camera alerted Belpre Police that a car reported stolen out of Athens County had entered the city Friday from Parkersburg, Belpre Police Chief Terry Williams said. An officer attempted to pull the burgundy Hyundai over on Washington Boulevard, but the driver fled back across the Belpre Bridge into Parkersburg.

Police from Belpre and Parkersburg converged at the GoMart on Camden Avenue in Parkersburg after a pursuit that started in the Ohio city ended there. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

Wood County Sheriff’s deputies picked up the pursuit around the Blennerhassett Bridge, Board said. Woodyard and Deem were attempting to assist at West Virginia 95 and Gihon Road,when their vehicle collided with another that was not part of the chase, he said.

Woodyard said he and Deem were treated and released from WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center and suffered no serious injuries. Two people in the other vehicle were uninjured, he said.

Parkersburg officers joined the chase near the Division of Motor Vehicles office on Lubeck Avenue, Board said. It moved on to Camden Avenue, where speeds reached approximately 90 mph, he said.

In the 1600 block of Camden, the suspect’s vehicle struck a guardrail and sustained two flat tires, Board said. The vehicle made it to the GoMart at 1810 Camden, where “officers could hear the engine revving” but the car did not move, he said.

An officer knocked out one of the car windows and Westfall was extracted from the vehicle, Board said.

This car sustained damage when it struck a guardrail while reportedly fleeing from Parkersburg and Belpre Police and Wood County Sheriff’s deputies Friday. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

A passenger, Misty Wells, 44, homeless, was arrested on an outstanding capias warrant from West Virginia, Woodyard said.

Westfall was taken to Camden Clark to be checked after his arrest and was expected to be arraigned in Wood County Magistrate Court on Friday night, Board said.

Evan Bevins can be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com.


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