NEW: Two Charged In Monday's Chase

Driver Was Wanted In Franklin County

Posted: July 15, 2014

Daily News-Record

HARRISONBURG — The driver accused of leading police on a high-speed chase Monday afternoon in Rockingham County was wanted on drug charges, police announced today.

Sgt. Les Tyler, of the Virginia State Police said the driver, Henry Eric Routon, 40, of Callaway, had warrants for his arrest in Franklin County for felony drug distribution and felony manufacturing methamphetamine.

On top of that, Tyler said, Routon racked up nine additional charges on Monday, including felony drug possession, felony grand larceny, felony eluding and reckless driving. Tyler said radar clocked Routon going 103 mph in 65 mph zone.

His passenger, Michelle Johnson Page, 38, of Rocky Mount, was charged with felony manufacturing methamphetamine, felony drug possession and felony possession of stolen property.

Both are being held without bond at the Rockingham County Jail.

Tyler said the chase began about 2 p.m., when a trooper saw a black Mitsubishi Outlander speeding north on Interstate 81.

The trooper, who was driving south, turned around to pursue the sport utility vehicle near mile marker 252 north of Harrisonburg.

The driver did not stop and continued north at a high speed. At mile marker 261, the SUV crossed the median and began heading south, Tyler said.

The driver briefly lost control and struck another vehicle, though no injuries were reported.

The vehicle left the interstate at Exit 257 near Mauzy and turned west onto Mayland Road

The chase ended in the Park & Ride lot near the intersection of Va. 259 and U.S. 11. Tyler said the suspect rammed the pursuing trooper’s cruiser.

A second state trooper, who was responding to the scene, suffered minor injuries when he lost control of his vehicle on Va. 259 and struck a tree and fence near Broadway.

The two defendants appeared in Rockingham County General District Court today. They are scheduled to return to court on Sept. 4 for a preliminary hearing.