Local News

Search Continues for Driver in Car Chase

Authorities are searching for Jimmy Parnell, 30, of Erwin, for allegedly driving a car in a chase that left a state trooper injured.

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State Highway Patrol car
COATS, N.C. — Authorities are continuing to search for the driver in a car chase that injured a state trooper in Harnett County on Saturday night.

The state Highway Patrol identified the driver as Jimmy Parnell, 30, of Erwin. Troopers described Parnell as having a shaved face and long red hair.

The suspect is not armed, but troopers said he should be considered dangerous because of his desperate actions during the chase and ensuing search.

On Saturday night, Trooper Bryan Barbour attempted to pull over a car for speeding on Red Hill Church Road in Coats. Parnell refused to pull over, and Barbour pursued him.

Barbour swerved and ran into a ditch when he rounded a curve and saw Parnell slowing to pull into a driveway.

Barbour was treated for an injured arm and released from Betsy Johnson Regional Hospital in Dunn for an injured arm.

Parnell and his passenger jumped out of the car and ran into the woods. Officers apprehended the passenger, Jason Parnell, 20, who was cited and released at the scene.

Jason Parnell is charged with resisting, delaying and obstructing a law enforcement officer.

Jimmy Parnell is wanted on two felony charges of hit-and-run and speeding to elude arrest. Troopers also filed 11 additional misdemeanor charges against him.

Jimmy Parnell is currently on probation for an earlier offense, but troopers did not release details about the circumstances of his probation.

The two men are brothers, troopers said.

On Saturday night, troopers and the Harnett County Sheriff's Office called off the search after they said they received information about the driver and expected to make an arrest.

Anyone with information on Jimmy Parnell's whereabouts is asked to call the Harnett County Highway Patrol at 910-893-5704.


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