CHARLOTTE — Channel 9 spoke to a woman Thursday who was driving one of the cars that a man collided with during a high-speed chase through Charlotte Wednesday.
Nearly two hours into the chase, the driver, later identified as Tyler Christopher Harding, struck a white car at the intersection of Ballantyne Commons Parkway and Johnston Road. The car was then pushed back into a tractor-trailer.
“I had no idea where it was coming from because I don’t know, I didn’t expect anything to happen. And then from there, he crashed into me and I was like, ‘Oh,’” said the woman, who was driving the white car.
She said her concern turned to confusion when Harding opened her door and yanked her out. She has no idea who he was or what was happening.
“Just opened my door and pulled me out. And I was confused, because I was just sitting there not really thinking about anything and he pulled me out, didn’t say anything and then ran off. And I was like, ‘OK, what’s happening?’” she said.
After that, Harding started running toward other cars and eventually stole an SUV, and headed down Johnston Road. It was the fourth vehicle he stole Wednesday.
The woman told Channel 9 that she is seven months pregnant, and had just finished visiting a friend’s home nearby.
“I was freaking out because instantly my nose started bleeding, and I was immediately worried about my baby,” she said.
She said she stayed conscious through the whole incident, and that she and her baby are OK.
“As soon as I sat on the ground, I was like, ‘Call 911, I’m pregnant and I need to find out if my baby is all right,’” she said.
The woman said she has injuries to her nose and possibly a sprained arm.
(WATCH BELOW: Some of the most intense moments during the nearly 3-hour high-speed chase through Charlotte)
What the pursuit suspect told firefighters, according to Charlotte FD
In the midst of the nearly three-hour chase, Chopper 9 captured Harding briefly stop to talk to Charlotte firefighters. The interaction happened on Sharon Road in SouthPark.
Chopper 9 video showed Harding appear to flag down a fire truck before putting his vehicle in reverse to briefly chat with a firefighter.
According to Charlotte Fire Captain Jackie Gilmore, the suspect told firefighters, “she needed help.” Gilmore said that firefighters never had the opportunity to engage because he pulled off.
It’s unclear who Harding was referring to, but the interaction happened about nine minutes after he crashed into the white car at Ballantyne Commons Parkway and Johnston Road, with the woman who is pregnant inside the car.
‘I was devastated’: Innocent drivers say they were caught up in hourslong chase
Nearly three hours of chaos came to an end in South End, and along the way, in the suspect’s destruction, he left behind numerous witnesses and people involved who couldn’t believe what was happening.
The suspect hit another vehicle at the intersection of South and East boulevards, where he eventually surrendered to police. But before he was taken into custody, police were spotted following him in a white pickup truck that he stole earlier Wednesday.
He then made his way to a Walmart parking lot, where he stole a car from an UberEats driver. She was seen from Chopper 9 Skyzoom immediately running toward her car as it was being taken away.
“I was devastated. I was trying to first get my vehicle but he stopped me,” she said.
The UberEats driver said she was just trying to pick up someone’s order when the incident happened. She said she was scared.
“I didn’t know what he had on him so I ain’t trying to. My life is more important,” she said.
When the suspect drove away, Channel 9 saw him talk to a woman in the white pickup truck he had jumped out of. A crew at the store could see CMPD put the woman in the back of a patrol cruiser.
More than an hour later, the suspect crashed into another car at the intersection of Ballantyne Commons Parkway and Johnston Road, sending it clipping into a Mazda. The Mazda is owned by Nicole Lourette.
“I was just blown away. We are from out of town, visiting friends, and this was just completely out of the blue,” she said.
Lourette watched with amazement as the suspect got out of his car, and started running towards other vehicles before getting into Karyann Curtis’ Infiniti, where he hopped in the passenger seat and drove away. She had gotten out of her SUV to check on the crash victim.
“I turned and as I turned, I see my car moving and I thought, ‘Did I put it in park?’” Curtis said.
Curtis then got into another man’s car who followed the chase until he ran out of gas. Then she hopped in a police officer’s car who was trailing behind the suspect.
She thought it would come to an end peacefully and that she would be able to pick it up and go, but it came to an end forcefully, with a crash into a truck at South and East boulevards.
The truck driver involved didn’t want to show his face but said it all happened so fast.
“The good Lord was watching over me,” he said.
Curtis’s SUV is damaged but she is thankful no one was seriously hurt.
“My husband drove up here to get me. I am just going to go home, give him a big hug, hug my family and just be thankful it had the outcome it did,” she said.
(WATCH BELOW: Chopper 9 Skyzoom overhead as police chase vehicle through Charlotte)
©2022 Cox Media Group