ROCK CAVE — A Rock Cave man remains jailed after fleeing from an officer on Heaston Ridge Road late Friday night.
According to court documents, Chief Deputy Mike Coffman was patrolling the area when he met a Dodge Dakota traveling the opposite direction. Due to the narrowness of the road, the officer and suspect had to “nearly stop” prior to passing. Immediately after passing the suspect, Coffman said he initiated blue lights for the driver to stop.
After seeing the blue lights, the defendant, later identified as 21-year-old Kaleb Austin Currence, began accelerating very rapidly on the narrow, one lane road. The truck reportedly turned onto Route 20 while failing to obey a stop sign and spinning gravel. As Chief Deputy Coffman attempted to follow the vehicle towards Rock Cave, he lost sight of Currence near Gaines Road.
The driver of another vehicle told the officer the fleeing truck had crossed onto her side of the roadway at an extremely high speed, almost hitting her head on. Taking the lead from other witnesses at the Arlington Mini Mart, Chief Deputy Coffman continued pursuing the suspect vehicle at speeds exceeding 80 mph.
After continuing pursuit, the officer finally noticed skid marks and spun up gravel at the intersection of Cow Run Road, indicating the suspect vehicle had turned onto said road. The officer reportedly traveled on Cow Run Road but could not hear nor see the suspect vehicle; therefore, Chief Deputy Coffman called off pursuit and continued to search for the vehicle. Lt. M. Powers and Deputy C. Bender assisted Chief Deputy Coffman in the search Friday night.
After following leads and searching, Lt. Powers located the vehicle in the woods, approximately ¼ mile up Cow Run Road. The Dodge Dakota was covered in tree branches and brush near a creek. Deputy Bender reportedly located Currence laying by the creek, where he was apprehended without incident. Currence allegedly admitted to driving the vehicle to the location and covering it with brush in attempt to camouflage it. While identifying Currence, officers found that his license was suspended for unpaid citations, there was no insurance on the Dodge Dakota, and it had improperly registered plates that came back belonging to a town and country van. After searching the defendant, deputies also located less than 15 grams of marijuana and a pipe on his person.
Following the incident, Currence was charged with fleeing in vehicle, no insurance, improper registration and possession of marijuana of less than 25 grams.
If convicted, he is facing a fine of $1,000-$2,000 and up to five years in a state correction facility for the felony offense of fleeing from an officer with reckless indifference. If convicted of the additional misdemeanor charges, Currence is facing a fine up to $500 and/or incarceration up to 6 months for improper registration, a fine of $200-$5,000 for no insurance and up to six months in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000 for possession of marijuana.
Currence is currently detained at Tygart Valley Regional Jail in lieu of a combined $40,000 bond set by Magistrate Alan Suder.