Local/State

3 county high speed chase ends on I-40 in Raleigh

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

A Durham man driving a pick-up truck led authorities on a three county high speed chase on Interstate 40 Tuesday evening.

Berry Helms, 48, of Durham, faces several charges including breaking and entering, and assault on a government official.

An unsuccessful breaking and entering apparently started the chase.

More than 70 miles later the high speed pursuit ended at the westbound Interstate 40 off ramp at Gorman Street in Raleigh.

The chase in Wake County was closed at times over 100 miles an hour. Helms had already been pursued by law officers in two other counties, Sampson and Johnston.

The Sampson County Sheriff's Department says it all started when Helms broke into the yard of an equipment company outside Clinton.

The owner of the yard told ABC11 that he believes Helms was trying to steal two John Deere mowers worth $20,000. However, someone spotted him and he took off.

Officers were soon on his tail. At such a high speed, Helms quickly ended up in Wake County where there was still plenty of traffic on I-40 even around 9:30 p.m.

Despite the potential danger to other motorists, Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison laid the blame for that danger squarely at Helms' feet.

"He had the opportunity to stop. I mean, look how far he came, look how many blue lights that came up behind him at different locations," said Harrison. "So the main thing is he put the burden on himself and put the burden on us to try to stop him.  But I think we did the right thing.  I stand behind my guys."

Helms was taken back to Sampson County on charges including assault on law enforcement officers for trying to run them off the road, and assault on a sheriff's K9 that chased him.

His bond has been set at $62,000.

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Tags:
sampson county, wake county, johnston county, local/state, ed crump
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