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Thursday police chase leads to Dillwyn man's arrest

A Dillwyn man was arrested Thursday after an afternoon police chase on U.S. 250 that included driving westbound in the eastbound lanes, a sideswipe of oncoming traffic, a crash, a foot chase and a three-hour search by police dogs.

Dustin Welch, 31, faces 10 charges ranging from drug possession and hit-and-run to eluding police and having a fake inspection sticker and the wrong license plates on the car as well as no valid driver’s license, according to Albemarle County General District Court records.

Welch is also being held on arrest warrants from Fluvanna and Orange counties for failure to comply with court orders and failure to appear at a court hearing, court records show.

According to Virginia State Police, a trooper was on U.S. 250 in the Pantops area when a westbound Toyota drove by bearing an expired inspection sticker. The trooper attempted to stop the car and the chase was on.

The trooper and the Toyota continued westbound on U.S. 250 where the car sideswiped a vehicle before crossing the centerline to drive in oncoming traffic, police said. The car then crashed into an oncoming vehicle and then crashed as it turned onto River Bend Road, police said.

The driver of the car ran off with Albemarle County and Charlottesville police joining state police and a county police dog in a search that ended with the arrest of a man found hiding three miles from the crash site.

The driver was treated for minor injuries caused by the traffic crash.

Welch faces charges of felony eluding of police; two misdemeanor counts of hit-and-run; felony possession of drugs; felony possession with intent to distribute drugs; driving on a suspended license for a previous DUI conviction; having a counterfeit inspection sticker; and license plates that were not registered to the car.

At the time of his arrest he was free on bond pending hearings related to criminal drug possession charges in both Orange and Fluvanna counties and also faces probation violation charges in both counties.

A bond hearing in Albemarle County on Friday was continued. He is scheduled for a hearing on the Albemarle County charges on Oct. 22.


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