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Low-speed pursuit ends in Augusta County with arrest of Nelson County woman

Susan Martin Lam
Susan Martin Lam. Photo courtesy Augusta County Sheriff’s Office.

A Nelson County woman is in custody after a low-speed pursuit that began in Augusta County and continued in the City of Staunton ended back in the county on Wednesday.

Susan Martin Lam, 37, has been charged with eluding police, obstruction of justice and possession of controlled substances, in addition to failing to appear on a previous charge in Waynesboro.

The pursuit began as a traffic stop on Interstate 81 at 7:05 p.m., according to the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office.

Lam, driving a 2018 Kia, fled the scene as the deputy went back to his patrol car to run her information, exiting the interstate into Staunton on Richmond Road, at low speeds.

The deputy followed Lam, who refused to stop, and continued to drive through the city at normal speeds. As Lam re-entered Augusta County on Barterbrook Road, multiple deputies engaged in the pursuit, and Lam still refused to stop.

Spike strips were successfully deployed near the intersection of Barterbrook Road and Tinkling Springs Road, but Lam continued to travel towards Stuarts Draft at 35-40 miles per hour. At this point, Augusta County deputies were joined by troopers with the Virginia State Police.

The pursuit entered Stuarts Draft, and Lam turned into a shopping center at 2627 Stuarts Draft Highway, where she stopped her car, and was taken into custody without incident.

“Fleeing from law enforcement is extremely dangerous to the community, the suspect, and to law enforcement. Regardless of the circumstances, it is in everyone’s best interest not to elude from the deputies,” Augusta County Sheriff Donald L. Smith said.

“Because of the inherent dangerousness involved in vehicle pursuits, it is the policy of my office to seek significant additional jail time for anyone who chooses to attempt to elude law enforcement. It is better for everyone to pull over and not compound the situation by fleeing,” Augusta County Commonwealth’s Attorney Tim Martin said.


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