HICKORY — A South Carolina man led state troopers on a two-county chase Wednesday morning that ended in Hickory when the vehicle crashed on Interstate 40 between exits 123 and 125, according to Master Trooper Jeffrey Swagger.
Roger Desmond Burns III, 28, of Fort Mill, was taken into custody at the scene of the crash. Swagger said he is still gathering information on the case but initial reports are that Burns fled the scene of a hit-and-run in Burke County.
Troop F100 1st Sgt. C.M. Tedder told The News Herald on Wednesday that the N.C. State Highway Patrol first started receiving calls about a careless and reckless driver on the interstate around 9:15 a.m.
Burke County troopers attempted to get into position to pull the car over, but weren’t able to intercept Burns’ car, Tedder said.
At around 9:20 a.m., the first wreck Burns was involved in was called into the N.C. SHP communications center in Newton. Burns allegedly side-swiped a vehicle near mile marker 106 on I-40 East, Tedder said.
Tedder said he asked the communications center to get a Catawba County trooper in position at the Burke/Catawba county line to pull Burns over.
That trooper ended up clocking Burns traveling 120 mph and passing on the shoulder, Tedder said.
Troopers were eventually able to force the Burn’s vehicle into the median twice before it crashed. Swagger noted the Burn’s vehicle struck a passenger vehicle in Catawba County, as well.
When the vehicle stopped, Swagger said Burns jumped the interstate railing and fled on foot. Troopers gave chase and arrested him on U.S. 70 in Hickory.
Burns told News Herald and Daily Record news partner WSOCTV that he didn’t remember what happened.
“I don’t know, I was on drugs,” Burns said. “I don’t remember what happened. I was on drugs. I don’t know, I took something and I don’t know.”
Tedder said no physical injuries were sustained in any of the crashes during the chase.
Burns was an absconder from his probation and parole, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety website. He was on probation for felony possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of Schedule II and larceny from merchant.
Charges are pending in the case.