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BY KEITH EPPS
A Stafford County man was arrested early Friday after a wild incident during which he wrecked a truck, knocked over mailboxes and a wooden fence, nearly struck two rescue vehicles and led police on a several-miles-long chase while driving without two tires, police said.
Sheriff's spokesman Bill Kennedy said the incident started about 1:25 a.m., when the suspect wrecked a pickup in the area of Caisson and Hollywood Farm roads. The truck rolled over several times and a male passenger was ejected and left on the ground. A camper that had been attached to the truck was found in a yard, along with some tools.
Kennedy said police didn't know about the passenger until later in the morning. He was apparently picked up by a passerby and taken to the hospital by family members.
Shortly after the accident, Kennedy said, Deputy Thomas Grasso spotted the badly damaged truck with no headlights on and both the front and rear tires on the driver's side missing. The truck swerved into Grasso's lane and nearly struck the deputy's cruiser before turning onto White Oak Road toward Fredericksburg, Kennedy said.
The truck continued at fluctuating speeds, swerving repeatedly and kicking up debris onto the pursuing cruiser, Kennedy said. At White Oak near Boggy Creek Lane, the driver nearly struck a rescue vehicle that was responding to the original accident scene. The rescue driver avoided a collision, Kennedy said.
The suspect barely missed another rescue vehicle when the truck swerved into the wrong lane near Ferry and White Oak roads. He also almost wrecked while striking the median near Baron Park Road, Kennedy said.
The pursuit continued onto Chatham Heights Road and ended on Madison Avenue, where the suspect lives.
Grasso and Sgt. Bill Crane removed the driver from the truck after he had driven across a yard, Kennedy said.
John Pitts, 21, was charged with driving under the influence, felony eluding, two counts of hit and run and possession of marijuana.
He was taken to Mary Washington Hospital, where staff members told police there was another young man there who had also been in an accident on Caisson Road.
Pitts will be placed in jail once he is released from the hospital, Kennedy said.
"We are very, very lucky that this happened early in the morning and that nobody was killed," Kennedy said. "It was an extremely dangerous situation."
Keith Epps: 540/374-5404