High-speed chase; suspect doesn't put up a fight afterwards

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SHELBY, N.C. - Police said Matthew Blanton didn't put up a fight after the high-speed pursuit out of Shelby, but he didn't have any options.

Police said it ended when he wrecked the truck on Hardin Circle in Grover -- just up the street from Adam Charpentier's home.

"Me and my wife came out on the porch and looked," said Charpentier.

He didn't know until WSOC told him police said the truck hit speeds as high as 96 miles per hour, and police said one of Cleveland County's most wanted suspects was in the passenger seat.

"He shouldn't have gotten away to begin with," said Charpentier.

Before dawn, a Shelby officer tried to stop the truck for an expired tag.

The driver kept going and pulled onto Highway 74, police said.

The pickup sped around an 18-wheeler and a car, police said.

Supervisors say the officer slowed down but kept following.

The driver nearly lost control during some sharp turns, police said.

Police said he drove as fast 76 miles per hour along back roads with homes nearby and barely slowed down as he went by a stop sign.

The officer kept his eyes on the tail lights at a distance until the truck finally hit a utility pole on Harden Circle, police said.

They say they found 24 grams of meth in the truck.

The passenger, identified by police as Paralee Peterson, suffered a broken leg in the crash.

She is accused of being a drug dealer and was one of Cleveland County Sheriff's Department's 10 most wanted suspects.