On Thursday night at approximately 9:45 p.m., a City of Salem Police Officer observed a pickup truck driver spinning the tires of his vehicle and sliding it sideways in the parking lot at Salem Stadium. The officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop of the vehicle’s driver on Texas Street in front of Salem Stadium, but despite receiving both a visual and audible signal to stop – the driver accelerated out of the lot.
A brief pursuit ensued lasting less than 90 seconds and concluded when the pickup crashed less than a mile from where the pursuit started. The gray 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup ran off the roadway, over a ledge and into the backyard of a residence on Pennsylvania Avenue where it flipped over and struck the house which was occupied at the time of the crash. The residents were not injured as a result of the crash.
The crash caused approximately $10,000 in property damage to the house and the pickup was a total loss. The officer involved in the pursuit did not observe the pickup crash into the home, and was never close enough to get a tag number. The property owner on Pennsylvania Ave. waived the officer down to inform him that the pickup had crashed in his backyard.
There were four occupants inside the vehicle who were entrapped and had to be removed by Salem Fire and Rescue. The four male subjects were transported to Roanoke Memorial Hospital and the driver was listed in critical condition.
The driver of the Dodge Ram pickup, Mychal Wilkins, age 21, from Roanoke, was charged with driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated. The matter is still under investigation.
Submitted by the Mike Stevens, the City of Salem