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Augusta County Sheriff’s Office makes arrest after low-speed pursuit

In addition to her warrant for failure to appear, Lam was charged with 2 counts of possession...
In addition to her warrant for failure to appear, Lam was charged with 2 counts of possession of controlled substances, 2 counts of eluding, 2 counts of obstruction of justice, and numerous traffic offenses.(Middle River Regional Jail)
Published: May. 5, 2022 at 2:43 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - The Augusta County Sheriff’s Office said on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, at 7:05 p.m., a deputy stopped a white 2018 Kia for a traffic infraction on Interstate 81 South.

After making contact with the lone occupant of the vehicle, 37-year-old Susan Martin Lam of Nelson County, the deputy returned to his car to run Lam’s information. A records check on Lam revealed that she was wanted for failure to appear in Waynesboro Court.

While the deputy was running her information, Lam reportedly fled the scene. Authorities said she exited the interstate into the City of Staunton on Richmond Road, at low speeds. As the pursuit entered Staunton City, Staunton Police Department was notified.

The deputy followed Lam, who refused to stop and continued to drive through the city at normal speeds. As Lam re-entered Augusta County on Barterbrook Road, multiple deputies engaged in the pursuit, and Lam still refused to stop.

Spike strips were successfully deployed near the intersection of Barterbrook Road and Tinkling Springs Road, however, Lam reportedly continued to travel towards Stuarts Draft at 35-40 miles per hour. At this point, Augusta County deputies were joined by troopers with the Virginia State Police.

The pursuit entered Stuarts Draft, and authorities say Lam turned into a shopping center at 2627 Stuarts Draft Highway, where she stopped her car and was taken into custody without incident.

In addition to her warrant for failure to appear, Lam was charged with 2 counts of possession of controlled substances, 2 counts of eluding, 2 counts of obstruction of justice, and numerous traffic offenses.

“Fleeing from law enforcement is extremely dangerous to the community, the suspect, and to law enforcement,” said Sheriff Donald L. Smith. “Regardless of the circumstances, it is in everyone’s best interest not to elude from the deputies.”

“Because of the inherent dangerousness involved in vehicle pursuits, it is the policy of my office to seek significant additional jail time for anyone who chooses to attempt to elude law enforcement,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Tim Martin. “It is better for everyone to pull over and not compound the situation by fleeing.”

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