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Report of Virginia state park intruder leads to fatal police pursuit

Generic: Day Police Lights
Posted at 4:12 PM, Apr 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-10 23:12:07-04

STUART, Va. — A police pursuit prompted by a call about an intruder at a state park in Virginia has left an elderly man dead and a North Carolina woman charged with vehicular homicide.

Virginia authorities said rangers at the Staunton River State Park found 41-year-old Christine S. Barnette of Cary, North Carolina, in an unoccupied, unrented cabin Friday.

Police said that as park rangers approached, Barnette ran from the cabin and got into her car, which rangers began pursuing.

The Halifax County Sheriff’s Office joined the pursuit, which passed through Pittsylvania County, Henry County, the city of Martinsville and Patrick County.

Authorities said Barnette was contained at one point before she rammed two sheriff’s vehicles near South Boston and continued to flee.

Authorities said officers also tried several times to disable Barnette’s car with spike strips, but that she managed to avoid each attempt.

The pursuit ended on Route 58 in Patrick County when Barnette crossed the median and collided head-on with a vehicle driven by Bobby Wayne Gammons, 81 of Mount Airy, North Carolina.

Gammons died at the scene. Barnette was flown to Roanoke Memorial Hospital with serious injuries.

State police said Barnette is facing charges of breaking and entering, reckless driving, defrauding an innkeeper, felony eluding police, trespassing and vehicular homicide.

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