BUCKHANNON – A Tallmansville man was arrested Thursday after allegedly fleeing from a police officer in a vehicle at speeds in excess of 95 mph, while also driving in the wrong lane and striking another vehicle during the pursuit.
David Blagg, 25, was arrested for fleeing with reckless indifference, a felony and shoplifting first offense, a misdemeanor.
According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by investigating officer Patrolman Donald S. Kraemer with the Buckhannon Police Department on Thursday, April 9, Kraemer was on regular patrol when he saw a blue Nissan Pathfinder allegedly fail to yield at the intersection of Magnolia Street and Pocahontas Street.
According to the report, Kraemer got behind the vehicle and saw it allegedly fail to yield for the stop sign at Pocahontas Street and Ohio Street. The vehicle then turned right onto Ohio and allegedly failed to stop for the red light while turning left onto Route 20 South.
At that point, Kraemer initiated his blue lights and siren in an attempt to make a traffic stop, but the driver of the Pathfinder, later discovered to be Blagg, reportedly sped up, continuing south on Route 20. Kraemer advised Upshur County Comm Center the vehicle was failing to stop and initiated a vehicle pursuit.
The file says the driver of the Pathfinder drove southbound in the northbound lanes while failing to yield at the stop lights at the Route 20 South intersections with the Kroger parking lot as well at Tallmansville Road.
The vehicle then attempted to pass a W.Va. Department of Transportation pickup truck while allegedly almost striking an 18-wheeler in the northbound lane.
The Pathfinder then allegedly sped up to speeds in excess of 95 mph while attempting to navigate turns and pass more vehicles, driving on the wrong side of the road. According to the report, while attempting to pass a gray Toyota Tacoma at the intersection of Cutright Run Road and Route 20 south, the vehicle allegedly struck the driver’s side and then continued to flee.
While attempting to navigate the curve of Route 20 South near Sago Road, the vehicle lost control and exited the roadway approximately 100 feet into a large grassy area and landed on its top, according to the complaint. Blagg was trapped in the vehicle for several minutes until he was able to extricate himself; he was medically cleared by St. Joseph’s Hospital prior to being transported to the Tygart Valley Regional Jail.
Blagg was also charged with first offense shoplifting, according to an unrelated complaint from March 3, 2020, filed by Upshur County Sheriff’s Deputy Dakota Linger. That report says Blagg allegedly removed a Diehard jump starter from Ace Hardware.
Magistrate Kay Hurst set bail at $15,000 cash or surety for fleeing with reckless indifference and $500 personal recognizance for shoplifting first offense.
The penalty for a conviction of fleeing with reckless indifference is a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $2,000 and imprisonment in a state penitentiary for not less than one year and not more than five years.
If convicted of shoplifting, he could face a fine of up to $250 and restitution in the amount of $50 or double the amount of the merchandise, whichever is higher.