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Suspect fleeing police hits hydrant on Forest Hill; causes water main break

Posted at 2:33 PM, May 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-31 23:24:01-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- The eastbound lanes of Forest Hill Avenue in South Richmond have reopened after crews worked hour to fix a broken water main that police said was related to a pursuit.

Earlier in the day, officers initiated a traffic stop on Forest Hill Avenue near 47th Street, but the car sped away. A brief pursuit occurred but officers said they disengaged quickly due to high speeds. After lights and sirens had been turned off, the vehicle struck a fire hydrant. A person with the Department of Public Utilities said the impact shook the ground hard enough to break the line.

Following a short foot pursuit, the driver was apprehended.

The lane closures impact the 4500 block to the 4800 block of Forest Hill.

"We have 6-inch water main broken in two places," a Richmond DPU spokesperson said. "We are shutting the main down and estimate there will be at least 50 consumers out of water."

The department said it was closing the eastbound lanes "for the safety of the workers and fear of the road caving in due to heavy traffic and buses."

James Ross. PHOTO: Richmond Police

James Ross. PHOTO: Richmond Police

Police said that they arrested James R. Ross, 28, of the 5600 block of Charlevoix Court, and charged him with reckless driving-speeding, suspended operator’s license, misdemeanor eluding and felony eluding.

This is a developing story. Anyone with additional information can submit a news tip here.