A Winchester man received serious injuries in a crash after being pursued by Virginia State Police for having an expired registration.

Damon S. Smith, 38, is charged with one felony count of eluding police, driving on a suspended license, aggressive driving, reckless driving, and multiple traffic violations committed during the course of the pursuit on May 16.

The pursuit began around 12:30 p.m. when a Virginia State Police trooper attempted to initiate a traffic stop on a Chrysler Sebring traveling south on Interstate 81 near the 303 mile marker in Frederick County, according to Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.

Smith, who was driving the Sebring, kept going and exited the highway at Exit 302, then returned to I-81 southbound and continued at a high rate of speed, Gellar said. Smith’s vehicle at one point suddenly braked, causing a tractor-trailer to strike it in the rear, Gellar stated.

Smith then turned into an emergency vehicle crossover on the interstate and continued north on I-81, before leaving the highway at Exit 302 again, Gellar said. The pursuit continued east on Reliance Road, with the Sebring traveling over 100 miles per hour.

Smith crossed a double yellow solid line to pass several vehicles before he lost control and ran off the right side of the road, Gellar said. Smith’s car struck two trees, which fell and struck a trooper’s car as the trooper pulled in behind Smith, Gellar said.

A passerby helped the trooper free Smith from his severely damaged and smoking car, Gellar stated. Smith was taken to Winchester Medical Center for treatment of serious injuries.

Smith is currently being held at Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center. He is due in Frederick County General District Court on Wednesday for a bond hearing on the charges and on July 12 for the traffic infractions.

The incident remains under investigation.

Contact Charles Paullin at cpaullin@nvdaily.com

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