Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office deputies chased a man driving a pickup truck last Thursday morning (Dec. 11) from Flint Hill into the center of the county’s commercial area, where the driver left the highway, sped across a field and rammed into an empty house.
The driver, who police identified as 50-year-old Michael Raymond Doyle of Rappahannock County, was taken to Fauquier Hospital by Washington Volunteer Fire and Rescue with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
He was later charged with six crimes, including felony charges of eluding police and intentionally damaging a dwelling, DWI (second offense within five years), reckless driving, driving outside of court-imposed restrictions and driving without an alcohol-activated interlock device.
After his arraignment in Rappahannock County District Court Tuesday (Dec. 16), Doyle was returned to RSW Regional Jail, where he awaits a March 3 hearing, his bond denied.
Sheriff Connie C. Smith said Doyle was pulled over at about 10:30 a.m. by RCSO Deputy Chris Koglin for erratic driving on Zachary Taylor Highway (U.S. 522) near Aileen Road. As Koglin reached the open window of the 1994 Ford pickup, the driver took off, she said. Koglin was joined in the pursuit by several other deputies, including Major John Arstino, Robbie Fincham, Cody Dodson and Smith herself.
The driver sped south on U.S. 522 and turned west on U.S. 211 at Massies Corner; at Library Road, he turned right, and along that stretch of Old Mill Road between the library and Warren Avenue, he ran both Arstino and Fincham off the road, Smith said — and then did the same to her on Warren Avenue before heading back onto 211 west.
As the pursuers attempted to box the vehicle in — the 70-mph motorcade was approaching the county’s elementary and high schools and its busiest commercial district — Smith said Doyle suddenly turned left near Union First Market Bank, went through the median cutoff, across both eastbound lanes, accelerated across a yard and plowed into a two-story house at 12720 Lee Hwy. owned by Susan Babcock.
Doyle was injured in the crash — one witness said the truck was airborne when it hit the house — but Smith said he had to be restrained after the crash. There was no one in the house, whose owners use it primarily as an office, she said. No other injuries were reported.