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Kernersville police chief hits two suspects with car

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KERNERSVILLE, N.C. -- The Kernersville police chief is on paid administrative leave after hitting a pair of crime suspects with his patrol car Sunday morning.

Officials said Kenneth Gamble struck 29-year-old Brian Pegram and 33-year-old Anthony Sides, both of Kernersville, around 6 a.m. in the eastbound lane of Business 40 near Main Street in Kernersville.

Authorities said the suspects were already in custody at the side of the road when they were struck by the cruiser.

The police department said officers had stopped a suspicious vehicle on a highway for a domestic issue when the suspects fled on foot and other officers were called to help.

Pegram and Sides were taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Sides has since been released but Pegram is in serious condition, according to his family.

"If he had done something wrong, fine and dandy, but do it in a manner other than hitting him with a car," said Donna Pegram, Brian Pegram's mother.

Sgt. Philip Dixson with the NC Highway Patrol describes the the incident as unfortunate.

"I don't see any intent or malice at all," he said. "I think this was an officer that was responding trying to help another officer."

Gamble has been the Kernersville police chief for almost three years.

The State Highway Patrol is now heading the investigation.