Kenova police catch runaway car on I-64

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 1, 2000

The Associated Press

Kenova, W.

Saturday, April 01, 2000

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Kenova, W.Va. – An Ohio man led police from two states on a 60-mile chase on Interstate 64. But police weren’t trying to arrest him. They were trying to help him.

Gary David Herrell, 20, of Proctorville, Ohio, left work at the Huntington Mall in Barboursville Friday afternoon and drove west on I-64. When he reached Kenova, his car’s cruise control stuck at 75 miles per hour.

Herrell tried turning the ignition key, but it wouldn’t respond. He hit the brakes, and again, nothing happened, police said.

He dialed 911 on his cell phone at 3:17 p.m. and reported his predicament to Kenova police.

Kenova Police Officer Jorge Plymale followed Herrell until he crossed the state line into Kentucky. Kentucky State Police took over in Grayson, Ky., and escorted Herrell on the interstate while attempting to disable the vehicle.

Herrell used his cell phone to stay in contact with police during the chase.

Finally, near Morehead, Ky., Capt. John Lambert of the State Police post in Ashland, Ky., maneuvered in front of Herrell’s car in an attempt to slow it down.

Lambert’s last-ditch effort came just in time – a one-lane construction zone with a speed limit of 55 miles per hour was 15 miles away.

Herrell’s car struck Lambert’s cruiser and went out control. The car slid into the median, crossed over into the eastbound lane and hit a guardrail.

Herrell was taken to a Morehead hospital, where he was treated and released. Lambert was not injured.