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Sunbury police warn about the danger of high-speed car chases

The department went on a 20 mile chase on Tuesday morning, ending in the suspect evading capture.

SUNBURY, Ohio — A high speed chase started on Miller Road in Sunbury early Tuesday morning and ended on Interstate 71 near 17th Avenue. At one point, the suspect reached 106 miles per hour. Officers had to disengage from the chase and were not able to stop the driver.

Chief Deputy Shawn Wade with the Sunbury Police Department said chases are becoming more and more common.

“These last few years has been unprecedented. I don't understand it and again it’s not a situation that an officer wants to be in, or do we want to put the public at risk,” Wade said.

Wade said a lot of the time when an officer is conducting a chase, they don’t know exactly what they are getting themselves into.

“Whether it’s somebody from a domestic violence, somebody from a robbery, somebody from a homicide or someone driving without a license initially and then coming to find out they are armed and threatened to kill somebody,” said Wade.

When officers are pursuing a chase, Wade said they must constantly evaluate if they should continue or not. He said they try to stop the suspect through several different tactics.

“We utilize radio communication, inter-jurisdictional and agency cooperation. Some vehicles or cruisers are equipped with stop sticks, where they utilize a device to deflate the tires,” Wade said.

There are a few different factors that lead to a chase ending.

“I’ve seen cars that were stolen go into a school zone during school, the officers disengage immediately. Officers disengage if there's a risk to the public that is imminent,” said Wade.

Wade wants to remind drivers that if you see a chase happening get out of the way by going to the right side of the road.

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