Suspected drunk driver leads Newport News officer on chase

Posted at 10:51 AM, Aug 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-18 20:09:55-04

Newport News, Va. - A 23-year-old man is facing charges after allegedly driving under the influence and leading Newport News Police on a pursuit.

The incident began around 11:25 p.m. Monday night when a Newport News Police officer witnessed a driver traveling southbound on Jefferson Avenue make a U-Turn into the path of the police cruiser traveling northbound.

Francisco Javier Hernandez Jr

Francisco Javier Hernandez Jr

The officer was forced to brake extremely hard to avoid a crash but then began pursuing the vehicle at speeds of nearly 60 mph in a 45 mph zone.

The driver made several attempts to elude the officer, eventually reaching speeds of 60 mph in a posted 25 mph zone on Ellen Road.

Eventually the driver reached a curve in the road and ran off of the roadway, hitting a ditch, a driveway, a light pole and two trees.

The driver then got out of the car and ran toward Briarfield Road. Two citizens chased the driver, caught him and held him until police arrived.

The officer that had been chasing the driver in his vehicle also ran off the roadway, hitting a ditch and utility pole.

The driver was identified as 23-year-old Francisco Javier Hernandez Jr. He has been charged with one count each of evade and elude police, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and refusal to take a blood or breath test.

After being taken to the City Jail, Hernandez complained of injuries and was transported to a local hospital.