Berkeley County sheriff says speeding I-81 motorist endangered 10 lives

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office says a speeding motorist endangered as many as ten lives as he reached speeds of more than 115 miles an hour on I-81 Sunday.

Deputy D.J. Dorsey says he was patrolling I-81 South near mile marker 13 when a call came to dispatch reporting a reckless driver north of his location.

The deputy observed a silver Mazda 3 bearing a Virginia registration traveling at a high rate of speed and passing multiple vehicles on the roadway.

Before the deputy could conduct a traffic stop, the vehicle was involved in a hit-and-run with three juveniles, a pregnant women and an adult male inside the vehicle.

The deputy activated his lights and attempted to get the driver, later identified as James Davenport to stop, but Dorsey says the Davenport changed lanes to pass multiple vehicles and proceed to pass vehicles on both the right and left side the shoulders with speeds exceeding 115 mph the entire time during this pursuit.

Dorsey says the driver “put a minimum of ten lives in danger due to his reckless actions on the interstate,” as the car was involved with a second accident involving a woman and her toddler.

The vehicle then exited off the interstate into Virginia exit 323 continuing south onto Martinsburg Pike, where it reportedly passed multiple vehicles on the wrong side of the road at high rates of speed.

Dorsey says the vehicle then came to a stop at the old Piggy’s at 12639 Winchester Ave in Bunker Hill.  That’s when he says Davenport exited the vehicle with a knife in his right hand. Dorsey says the driver pointed and swung the knife toward deputies.

After a minute of being told to put the knife down, Davenport complied and surrendered without further incident.

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