In what could have been mistaken for a session of the Grand Theft Auto video game, the driver of a stolen tractor-trailer rampaged through Portsmouth, Ohio Sunday morning, destroying everything in their path.
The chase started just before 2 am. The first sign of trouble was a Portsmouth Police Officer reporting a semi-truck and trailer hitting a pole and a building at the intersection of 6th and Broadway. The driver then took out several fire hydrants in multiple locations apparently driving laps around the streets.
The driver then cut through a field on 4th Street and then began to drive on sidewalks and hit a car. Officers continued to follow the driver as the truck headed the wrong way down Charles Street striking and heavily damaging dozens of vehicles parked on the narrow one-way street. The driver then took off in the direction of the stadium and lost the trailer from the semi.
What happened next can only be described as incredible.
Why Not Take The Train?
He then crashed into a train engine at a railroad crossing. Incredibly, the driver got out of the wrecked semi and jumped on an engine in an apparent hijack attempt. Norfolk and Southern Security detained the man.
The wrecked truck began to leak diesel fuel at the Gallia Street railroad crossing and the fire department was called in to contain the mess. Officers also sent for EMS to treat the driver who was taken to the hospital. Police also contacted city services to shut off the fire hydrants spewing water all over town.
Dozens of Vehicles Destroyed
Video from home security cameras shows the man crashing into vehicles without even slowing down. One Charles Street resident said, “I haven’t been to sleep since it happened.”
Pictures and videos of the incident flooded social media with people expressing dismay at this video game come to life.
“This dude literally stole a truck and trailer, ran through Charles Street on the East End and totaled a bunch of cars, lost the trailer, and literally ran into a train and tried to hijack it!!!”
Dozens of vehicles parked on the narrow streets of working-class neighborhoods sustained heavy damage.
The driver’s name has not been released by local authorities. He was taken to a local hospital for evaluation. He has not been booked into the local jail, so we can’t report on the charges he is facing.
The suspect has been identified as Maxwell J. Wiley, 39, of Argillite, Kentucky.
Currently, Wiley is in protective custody at a Columbus Trauma Center. He will face several crimes upon his release, such as Breaking and Entering, Grand Theft Auto, Failure to Comply with a Police Order, and Railroad Vandalism, among many others.
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