BOONE – A two-county car chase along U.S. 321 that reached speeds of 80 mph ended on Fairway Drive in Boone in the mid-afternoon of Monday, Sept. 30.
Trooper M.J. Pennington of the N.C. State Highway Patrol said that at 2:36 p.m., he clocked a 2008 Mercedes Benz ML-350 SUV speeding along U.S. 321 North in Caldwell County.
Pennington said that he discovered the vehicle was reported stolen and soon after, the driver, Stephen Damonta Montgomery, 29, of 1105 Bethel Road, Charlotte, refused a traffic stop and fled northbound into Watauga County and Blowing Rock.
The chase went through Blowing Rock along U.S. 321 North, at speeds between 35 and 80 mph, Pennington said.
According to Watauga County Sheriff’s Office shift reports, a WCSO deputy responded at the intersection of Fairway Drive and U.S. 321 to assist Boone units with deploying spike strips. According to the report, the driver swerved to avoid the strips, made a loop and then turned onto Fairway Drive.
Two other responding WCSO deputies then diverted and set up spike strips at Kellwood Road at Bamboo Road. However, Montgomery lost control and wrecked in the sharp curve on Fairway Drive, going off the right shoulder and crashing into a tree around 2:49 p.m, Pennington recounted.
Montgomery tried to escape and flee on foot by kicking out the passenger side window, but was apprehended by Blowing Rock Police officer Caleb Hildebran, according to Pennington. Montgomery was the only occupant of the vehicle.
Fairway Drive remained closed for a short time as officers cleared the scene.
Pennington said that Montgomery had an active felony warrant from Mecklenburg County for larceny of a motor vehicle, and was additionally charged with felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle, felony possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and felony speeding to elude arrest.
A backpack found in the vehicle contained two pistols, Pennington said.
Montgomery was booked into the Caldwell Count Detention Center in Lenoir, where he is currently being held on $150,000 bond with an Oct. 2 court date, Pennington said.
Assisting NCSHP on the chase were Blowing Rock Police, Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and Boone Police.
“We thank all the other agencies for their assistance,” Pennington said.