Driver, 16, among 3 critically hurt in south Charlotte crash following high-speed chase

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Four people are hurt, including a North Carolina state trooper, after a high-speed chase ended in a south Charlotte crash early Monday morning.

Investigators said the pursuit started around 3 a.m. and the wreck happened around 3:30 a.m. at the intersection of South Boulevard and East Woodlawn Road.

According to the Highway Patrol, a trooper tried to stop a car on Interstate 85 near WT Harris Boulevard for speeding and not displaying a tag, but the driver refused to pull over. Instead, the driver led the trooper on a high-speed chase, which at one point went into Cabarrus County.

Authorities told Channel 9 that once in Cabarrus County, the driver turned around and headed back onto I-85 southbound before exiting onto the I-485 inner loop.

Once on the inner loop, officials said the vehicle drove under the cable barrier in the median and began heading the wrong way on the outer loop while troopers followed parallel in the correct direction.

The driver kept speeding in the wrong direction on I-485 until they got to Arrowwood Road, investigators said. That is where the suspect exited the interstate and headed down South Boulevard. According to troopers, the car collided with a traffic sign and a parked vehicle before speeding up and smashing into a power pole, scattering debris everywhere.

Firefighters rescued the three people trapped inside the car and rushed them to the hospital in critical condition. Troopers identified the driver as a 16-year-old, but cannot release his name under the law. They said he was driving a stolen Chevrolet Malibu.

The car came to a stop in front of two businesses and those business owners told Channel 9 they were shocked when they got to work. Mohammad Eltakkale, who owns A1 Carpet and Tile, said the suspects also totaled his work van.

“It was a work van, it’s only a piece of metal, but still,” he said.

Police said the trooper involved in the chase, out of Cabarrus County, was injured in the crash, but they are expected to be OK.

CMPD shut down South Boulevard for hours while Duke Energy crews replaced the pole and police investigated the chase and crash.

Eltakkale said he was thankful no one else was hurt.

“People could have been walking. I have a lot of people who walk here all the time where my van was parked,” he said. “I hope they (the trooper) get better soon.”

CMPD said the State Highway Patrol will be the leading investigators for the crash.

The driver was charged with felony flee to elude, possession of a stolen vehicle, speeding and careless/reckless driving.

This is an ongoing investigation. Check back with wsoctv.com for more information.