JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Stoplights and railroad crossings did not slow down a man accused of leading deputies on a high-speed chase that ended with him crashing his SUV into a natural gas control station.
Just before 2 a.m. Friday, Deputy Daniel Willey was traveling northbound on Stadium when he saw an orange Chevy Avalanche pull out of a gas station near Rook Road.
In his initial incident report, Willey said the truck did not have its lights on and was traveling at a "high rate of speed."
Willey followed the truck as it drove past the stop sign at Rook Road and the railroad tracks.
As the Avalanche approached Willow Road, it passed a white Chevy truck at the stop sign. Willey said he initiated his emergency lights and the Chevy pickup truck pulled over, "but the Avalanche sped up."
The deputy said the Avalanche then turned onto Nettleton Road and crossed the railroad tracks before turning onto Frisco Street.
"As we approached Nettleton and Highland Streets, the light was red," Willey reported. "The vehicle did not slow down, traveling northwest on Nettleton at approximately 70 miles per hour."
As the Avalanche approached the Nettleton and Red Wolf intersection, Willey said several cars had to stop to keep from being hit by the vehicle as it sped through the stop light.
The driver lost control when he tried to turn onto Bittle Street. The SUV swerved into a parking lot, then crashed into retaining pipes and a natural gas control station. The gas then began leaking from the pipes.
The driver then jumped out of the Avalanche and tried to run away. Willey chased the suspect in his vehicle. When the man tried to climb a chain link fence, Willey saw him in the headlights and "realized I was familiar with the subject..Ragen Ray."
Willey yelled at Ray to stop, then he and several Jonesboro police officers jumped over the fence and chased after the suspect.
"Mr. Ray then tripped up and fell to the ground, allowing myself and other officers to apprehend Mr. Ray," Willey said.
The deputy arrested Ray, 39, of Jonesboro on suspicion of fleeing on foot, fleeing in a vehicle, reckless driving, expired vehicle license, no proof of insurance, and driving on a suspended driver's license.
He was taken to the Craighead County Detention Center where he was released less than five hours later on $2,475 surety bond.
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