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Deputy injured after crash on Old US 52 in Welcome

DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. -- A Davidson County sheriff's deputy and an older driver were involved in a serious crash in Welcome late Tuesday morning. The crash was in connection to law enforcement agencies chasing a possible kidnapping suspect.

The pursuit began around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, when the 911 center picked up a call from a cellphone, no one responded. That's when operators pinged the phone and found the location. Lexington police arrived at Charlotte Drive where a female, believed to be victim of domestic abuse, and Michael Hughes were inside of a car. The female left with law enforcement, but Hughes sped off. Lexington police and the Davidson County Sheriff's Office chased Hughes down Interstate 85 Business.

With lights and sirens on, Davidson County Sheriff's Deputy Sgt. Chad Childress was driving southbound on Old U.S. 52 to join the pursuit on Interstate 85 Business. But before Childress could meet the chase, neighbors say a SUV driven by Gene Snider was turning left onto Homer Street in Welcome. This is where Snider and Childress crashed into each other. The accident was so violent, folks say both cars went airborne, coming to rest in a nearby yard.

"I just heard a tremendous bang and knew it was a crash," said a  witness that wanted to remain anonymous. "And when I came out, I saw the deputy's car smoking and the blue lights blinking and then I saw him laying out in the yard. I don't know whether he had gotten out because of the smoking or whether it had thrown him out."

Both Snider and Childress were taken to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Davidson County Sheriff David Grice has been checking on the condition of Childress.

"They are trying to determine if he has any injuries," Grice said. "He has complains of his hand hurting and shoulder hurting."

Grice is also concerned about the other driver. Snider has multiple bone fractures.

"We wish both of them the best," Grice said.

Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies continued chasing Hughes onto U.S. 64. But when the traffic became heavier, Grice explains deputies stopped their pursuit.

"We took the pursuit," Grice said. "It was going 50, 60 and 70, then we backed off. Traffic around North Carolina Highway 109 and U.S. Highway 64, they are doing some construction there."

Michael Hughes was last seen driving a red 1992 Ford Tempo. There are warrants for his arrest.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the deputy-involved accident at Old U.S. 52 and Homer Street in Welcome.