Cousin comes across horrific wreck, finds officer trapped inside after collision

Posted at 7:05 PM, May 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-21 19:05:57-04

CHARLES CITY, Va. -- Two sheriff’s deputies were listed in stable condition at VCU Medical Center Thursday morning, one day after they were involved in a horrific crash on Route 5, near Glebe Lane, in Charles City County.

The deputies crashed into each other while in pursuit of a suspect Wednesday afternoon. Video of the crash was captured on a gas station security camera.

The cousin of one officer involved, Capt. Jason Crawley, said she had a horrible experience. She was driving on Route 5 when she came upon the wreck, and saw a Sheriff’s Deputy on a stretcher.

"The initial reaction was shock and awe because I didn't know what was going on,” Nichelle Charity, Capt. Crawley’s cousin said. “It was scary."

She saw someone on a stretch, and noticed her cousin’s car off to the side.

Charles City crash 04

"That's when a light went off,” she said. “Let me check this out. “

That’s when she learned that her cousin and Deputy Charles Hargis were involved in Wednesday's horrific crash.

"When they cut him, cut the top off of the car, you could actually see him in there, pinned in the car,” she said. “My Dad walked over and gave him the thumbs up and he gave the thumbs back.”

“So, that was a sigh of relief."

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Capt. Crawley and Deputy Hargis were pursuing Anthony Williams on Route 5, following a fleeing suspect who pulled away from an attempted traffic stop.

“A 2011 Dodge Charger, belonging to the Charles City County Sheriff’s Office, was westbound on Route 5 with its emergency equipment activated. A 2005 Crown Victoria, also belonging to the Charles City County Sheriff’s Office, pulled out from a service station with its emergency equipment activated and the two vehicles collided on Route 5,” Virginia State Police spokesperson Sgt. Steve Vick said. “The impact of the crash forced the Charger off the right side of the road where it struck a 2012 Genesis that had pulled off the road to yield to the oncoming police vehicles. The Charger then overturned and came to rest partially in the roadway.”

Richard Nice

Richard Nice

Williams got away, but crashed his car down the road.  He then fled on foot into the woods.

Williams was eventually captured at a nearby farm.  The suspect, who was known the law enforcement sources said, was wearing only underwear when he was captured.

“He didn’t look too great after coming through the woods. He looked a little dirty and rough looking,” farmer Richard Nice said. “There was no doubt in my mind that he was the guy.”

"I'm glad they did get him,” Charity said.

And while Anthony Williams sits behind bars Charity is thankful this situation turned out well for both deputies.

"God was looking over them for sure."