THURSDAY A.M. UPDATE: Days after being hit with a car by a fleeing suspect, Sgt. Aaron Nichols is showing signs of improvement.
According to State Police Spokesperson Sgt. Michael Baylous, Sgt. Nichols is being weaned off the ventilator and was reportedly more alert on Thursday.
PREVIOUS: The woman who was on the run after hitting a West Virginia State Police trooper earlier this week has turned herself in.
“Two of our investigators who are assigned to our Bureau of Criminal Investigations were able to meet up with Miss. Garretson along Route 25 and she turned herself into them,” said State Police Spokesperson Sgt. Michael Baylous.
Jennifer E. Garretson, 35, of St. Albans had been on the run since Monday after she hit off duty State Trooper Sgt. Aaron Nichols with her car while running from a shoplifting incident in St. Albans.
Nichols was attempting to apprehend Garretson when he was hit. Garretson was suspected of shoplifting from Goody’s in St. Albans.
Garretson was reportedly connected to the police department through her job and a trooper who knew her was able to convince her to turn herself in.
“He was able to get her cell phone number and reach out and text her and try to establish a rapport that way and there had been some text messaging that had been taking place since the incident happened trying to encourage her to turn herself in,” said Sgt. Baylous.
That trooper was successful and Sgt. Baylous said he is happy that she is in police custody now.
Jake Nichols, Sgt. Nichols younger brother, spoke with the media during a press conference Wednesday and said the family is relieved she turned herself in.
“We’re glad everything went well and there were no other incidents and nobody else is going through this because of that,” said Nichols. “We’re glad that parts over with and we can focus on him getting better.”
Sgt. Nichols was transported to the hospital with a serious head injury. Nichols said his brother is slowly getting better.
“He is slowly but steadily improving and he is stable, but they are still watching his condition,” said Jake. “He is showing good signs of improvement.”
Jake said the past few days for the family have been rough but they are doing well.
Sgt. Nichols is a 15 year veteran of the State Police force and being a police officer is something he has always loved doing, according to his brother.
“He has always cared and through this situation he continued to do his job even though he was off duty,” said Jake. “He just never stopped. He always tried to do what was right and that’s just him.”
Sgt. Nichols is listed in stable but guarded condition at CAMC General.
Garretson has been charged with malicious wounding. She is currently being held in South Central Regional Jail on $150,000 bail.
The investigation is ongoing and more charges could be forthcoming.