HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — A police pursuit in Huntington, West Virginia, ended when the vehicle crashed into the Husson’s Pizza on the corner of 4th Avenue. The crash happened around 9 a.m. on Monday, January 6, 2019.
Interim Huntington Police Chief Ray Cornwell says it all started when police observed a man in a vehicle with felony warrants on 9th Avenue. Police then attempted to initiate a traffic stop around 17th Street and 9th Avenue when the suspect fled west and then north on Hal Greer Boulevard.
Interim Chief Cornwell says 24-year-old Tanner Miller of Huntington then crashed into Husson’s Pizza in an SUV. Huntington Fire Chief Jan Rader says a the building was empty when first responders arrived. The SUV Miller was driving was on fire when it crashed into the building, according to Rader. Rader adds that a woman driving a pickup truck suffered minor injuries from the crash. Cornwell says Miller then tried to flee on foot, but was caught in a nearby alley.
“Seeing a photograph is one thing, but actually walking through a scene or being on the scene is a totally different vibe,” said Chad Hale, a barber who works in the same building as Husson’s Pizza. Hale says he woke up to a picture of the SUV inside the building and wondered if that was the barber shop he worked inside. “I’ve sat and ate lunch at that booth multiple times,” said Hale, referring to a booth that was right by where the SUV struck the pizza shop.
Cornwell says Miller had two outstanding felony warrants, including a fleeing with reckless disregard felony and a DUI in the 3rd degree felony from an incident on December 24, 2019. Miller also had two misdemeanor outstanding warrants. Cornwell expects more charges to come.
Hale says he’s glad no one was seriously injured, adding the area is usually busy because of its proximity to campus. “Generally this has lots of foot traffic,” said Hale. “If class was in session, you would see hundreds of students walking back to class.”