WINCHESTER — A driver who police say nearly collided with a school bus in West Virginia near the Clarke County border led police on a high-speed chase before being stopped in Frederick County on Thursday.
The chase began around 3:30 p.m. after Deputy Jason F. Hawes of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office witnessed the near crash and followed the driver on Lord Fairfax Highway (U.S. 340) in Clarke County. Hawes was off duty and headed home, according to an email on Monday from Lt. Warren W. Gosnell, Sheriff’s Office spokesman. Hawes chased the Nissan car until Clarke County deputies took over the chase.
The driver fled west on Berryville Pike (Va. 7) into Frederick County at speeds reaching 90 mph, according to Gosnell. He said the chase ended at the intersection of Harry Flood Byrd Highway (Va. 7) and Woods Mill Road after police twice placed spike strips in the road. The devices slowly deflate tires to decrease the chance of vehicles crashing.
The driver was identified as Timothy Brian Barth, 48, of the 200 block of Donation Road in Greenville, Pennsylvania. Frederick Deputy Joshua S. Avery wrote in a criminal complaint that Barth smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and admitted to drinking beer at the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in Charles Town, West Virginia, before the chase. Avery wrote that Barth said he didn’t stop for police because he wanted to get home.
Barth was charged with eluding police, the fourth or subsequent offense of driving under the influence within 10 years, driving with a revoked license and refusing to take a field sobriety test. A search warrant was applied for by police to obtain a blood sample of Barth’s to determine his blood alcohol concentration. Gosnell said Barth was on probation and was released from jail on Sept. 2 after being charged with driving under the influence.
Barth was being held without bond at the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center on Monday night. He is due in Frederick General District Court at 9 a.m. on Dec. 14.