Lewis County man arrested for allegedly fleeing under the influence after wrecking vehicle on Route 20

BUCKHANNON – A Lewis County man who allegedly fled from police at speeds in excess of 100 mph while under the influence of alcohol and eventually crashed the SUV he was driving on Route 20 South was arrested Wednesday.

Cody A. “Gage” Lane, 31, of Crawford, W.Va., was arrested Oct. 5 for fleeing with reckless indifference, fleeing with bodily injury, and fleeing while under the influence, all felonies, in connection to an incident that allegedly occurred Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022.

According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by Patrolman James Fisher with the Buckhannon Police Department, on Sept. 29 while on traffic patrol, Fisher and Patrolman Jonathan Warner, both of the Buckhannon Police Department, observed a 2002 gray-colored Hyundai Santa Fe abruptly turn on to Route 20 South near Madison Street and then nearly strike a pickup truck that was traveling north on Route 20.

Fisher pulled onto Route 20 South and began following the vehicle, which accelerated to speeds ranging between 60-80 mph while passing the Poling St. Clair Funeral Home, the Fred W. Brooks Park and Route 20’s intersection with Marion Street.

Fisher continued to pursue the SUV as it approached the Kroger intersection where the driver, later identified as Lane, allegedly ran the red light, passed a pickup truck despite the double-yellow lines and eventually reached a speed of approximately 100 mph, according to the police report. The vehicle continued southbound, allegedly crossing the double-yellow lines on two other occasions and reached speeds of over 100 mph when passing Buckhannon-Upshur High School.

The file says the SUV crashed just past Good Hope Tabernacle Church, in front of 3393 Route 20 South Road.

“We observed the vehicle bouncing and spinning out of control,” Fisher wrote in the report.

When Fisher approached the driver’s side of the vehicle, he didn’t see anyone inside the vehicle, but soon after, discovered that Lane had been ejected and was lying unconscious “bleeding from the head and had lacerations on his back with a bone protruding from his thumb,” the file says.

Sometime after, Patrolman Jonathan Warner noticed another person lying face down against the guardrail who had also apparently been ejected from the vehicle. When the second male individual regained consciousness, he told officers there were just two people in the vehicle at the time of the wreck, and he had been the passenger. At that point, Lane also regained consciousness and allegedly told police the other person in the vehicle had been his passenger, the report says.

When Upshur EMS arrived on scene, Lane allegedly told them he had consumed three alcoholic beverages. Lane then told Patrolman Warner that he wanted to “scrap” with him and was rude to EMS workers, the complaint states. As a result, Upshur EMS requested that Fisher ride with them as they transported the two individuals to the hospital for medical treatment. On the ride to the hospital, an EMS worker asked Lane various questions to gauge his level of intoxication. When the EMS worked asked, “What is next month?” Lane allegedly replied, “I might just be too drunk to answer that,” according to the report.

Fisher obtained a warrant to secure Lane’s medical records, and they showed his Blood Alcohol Content was 0.221 at the hospital. The legal limit is .08 in West Virginia.

Upshur County Magistrate Mark Davis set bail at $30,000 cash or surety, and Lane remained incarcerated at Tygart Valley Regional Jail as of Thursday, according to the West Virginia Regional Jail & Correctional Facility Authority.

The penalty for a conviction of fleeing with reckless indifference is a fine of not less than $1,000 nor more than $2,000 and imprisonment in the state penitentiary for one to five years. The penalty for convictions of both fleeing with bodily injury and fleeing while under the influence is imprisonment for three to 10 years in the state penitentiary.

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