Wild chase involving 18-wheeler out of Virginia ends in Iredell County

IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. — Authorities have released more details surrounding a chase out of Virginia Wednesday evening involving a tractor-trailer truck which ended in Iredell County and shut down Interstate 77 for hours.

The pursuit ended in the northbound lanes at Exit 65 (N.C. Highway 901). The northbound and southbound lanes were closed while troopers investigated, finally reopening at about 9 p.m.

Police said the pursuit started around 7:45 p.m. in Wythe County, Virginia.

Virginia State Police said the driver, Robert Thomas Timms, 40, of Rootstown, Ohio, wasn't staying in his lane, so they tried to pull him over.

Robert Timms


Timms didn't stop and hit two Virginia State Police vehicles. The chase lasted for 38 miles in Virginia before crossing into North Carolina.

That's when North Carolina authorities picked up the pursuit.

State troopers used stop sticks to slow down the truck and eventually the 18-wheeler's front tires gave out, sparking a fire that spread to the cab, according to officials.

The pursuit finally ended near the Iredell and Yadkin county line on I-77 and Timms was arrested.

No officers or any other drivers were hurt.

Timms was charged with fleeing to elude police, reckless driving and resisting a public officer. He is expected to face more charges out of Virginia.

Virginia authorities are in charge of the investigation but have not released any other details.

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