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Man fleeing from deputies jumps from bridge on I-40 in Winston-Salem
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Man fleeing from deputies jumps from bridge on I-40 in Winston-Salem

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A man fleeing from Forsyth County sheriff's deputies in the early morning darkness Tuesday abandoned his disabled vehicle and jumped from a bridge that carries Interstate 40 over Salem Creek, according to reports.

The suspect sustained "significant injuries," the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office said, and was rescued by crews with the Winston-Salem Fire Department. The sheriff's office said Tuesday afternoon that the suspect was in stable condition despite sustaining multiple serious injuries.

The bridge the man jumped from spans Salem Creek at a height of about 35 feet. The sheriff's office did not provide the name of the suspect.

The sheriff's office said the incident began when deputies attempted a traffic stop on I-40 westbound about 2 a.m.

The driver of a silver Mercedes-Benz refused to stop, and deputies gave chase. The Mercedes-Benz continued going west on I-40 toward Lewisville-Clemmons Road, then exited the freeway and re-entered it heading east, according to Christina Howell, speaking for the sheriff's office.

The suspect's car reached speeds of more than 100 miles per hour as it made its way east, reports show, but deputies used a tire-deflation device to slow the Mercedes-Benz and conclude the pursuit — at least the part of the pursuit on four wheels.

The sheriff's office said that, after the Mercedes-Benz was disabled, the driver got out of the vehicle and jumped off the bridge.

Chief Robert Wade of the Winston-Salem Fire Department said the department's rescue unit responded to the scene along with a ladder truck.

"It took 20 minutes to rescue him out of the hole he was in," Wade said. "He was alert and conscious when we got him out. We were dispatched by the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office at 2:13 a.m."

The rescuers put the injured man in a "Stokes basket," which immobilizes a patient for safe transport, and used a rope attached to the ladder truck to lift him from the ground near the creek.

"They did a good job last night," Wade said Tuesday afternoon, commenting on the performance of the rescue team. An ambulance from Forsyth County Emergency Medical Services took the injured driver to a hospital for treatment.

Meanwhile, deputies seizing the Mercedes-Benz recovered firearms, cash and narcotics from the disabled car, the sheriff's office reported. Noting that the investigation is ongoing, the sheriff's office said multiple charges would be lodged against the driver of the Mercedes-Benz.

The sheriff's office said anyone with information on the case should contact the sheriff's office directly at 336-727-2112 or Crime Stoppers at 336-727-2800.

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