Three arrested after lengthy pursuit in Augusta County ends in crash

augusta countyMembers of the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office Warrant Division, assisted by members of the United States Marshal’s Service, attempted to contact a pair of wanted females, Ashley Lynn Fortune, 30, and Nicole Elizabeth Glenn, 35, in the parking lot of the Staunton Mall located at 90 Lee Jackson Highway on Wednesday.

As deputies and marshals approached a 2002 Nissan Sentra, containing the wanted females, the male driver, later identified as Michael Lee Barkley, 59, put the vehicle in drive and ignored numerous commands to stop.

At this point, one Augusta County deputy was partially inside the door on the Nissan, and as Barkley sped away, the deputy was hit by the door, and was almost dragged away by the car as it fled.

Deputies initiated a pursuit on the Nissan, and Barkley fled the Staunton Mall parking lot and proceeded north on Route 262 at 70-75 mph. As other deputies were setting up spike strips to intervene in the pursuit, Barkley exited Route 262 and headed west on Churchville Avenue.

On Churchville Avenue near the intersection with Eagle Rock Lane, the pursuit slowed, and Barkley intentionally rammed an Augusta County cruiser. The pursuit continued west on Churchville Avenue to Hankey Mountain Highway. As the chase approached West Augusta, the Highland County Sheriff’s Office was notified, and the pursuit continued up Shenandoah Mountain towards the Highland County Line.

Barkley failed to negotiate one of the sharp curves on Shenandoah Mountain Drive and he struck a guardrail. He then intentionally rammed an Augusta County cruiser two more times, before finally losing control of his Nissan and striking a guardrail.

Barkley, Fortune and Glenn were taken into custody without incident. The trio were uninjured.

The Augusta County deputy whose vehicle was rammed by Barkley on three separate occasions, received minor injuries and was treated at the scene.

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