On 05/02/2013 Morganton Public Safety Officers charged three subjects after being involved in a high speed vehicle chase.

Public Safety officers were called to a parking lot off E Fleming Dr for a report of a suspicious vehicle. The suspect vehicle pulled out of the parking lot as officers arrived. Officers attempted to stop the vehicle on Kirksey Dr near E Union St. The vehicle pulled over initially, but then sped off at a high rate of speed. Officers initiated a pursuit as the vehicle turned onto Amherst Rd. The vehicle was pursued toward the town of Drexel onto Zion Rd and then onto Hwy 70 east. This is where one of the passengers jumped out of the vehicle near Drexel Rd. The vehicle continued onto Drexel Rd to I-40 west exiting the interstate and then getting back on I-40 traveling east. Speeds reached over 90 mph during the chase. The vehicle was involved in a crash when it ran off the right side of the roadway and collided with some trees near exit 111.

Two person s were taken into custody at the scene, the driver, identified as Donnelle Nicholas Cuthbertson and a passenger, Amber Denise Whisnant. The subject that jumped out of the vehicle was also taken into custody, identified as Darius Edward Connelly. An amount of powder cocaine and marijuana was located in the vehicle. No injuries were sustained as a result of the accident.

The driver, Donnelle Cuthbertson was charged with Aggravated Felony Speeding to Elude Arrest, Resist, Delay and Obstruct Officer and Possession with Intent to Sell and Deliver a Schedule II Controlled Substance. He was placed in the Burke Co Jail under a $50,000.00 secure bond. Amber Whisnant was charged with Possession with Intent to Sell and Deliver a Schedule II Controlled Substance and was placed in the Burke Co Jail under a $15,000.00 secure bond. Darius Connelly was also charged with Possession with Intent to Sell and Deliver a Schedule II Controlled Substance. He was placed in the Burke Co Jail under a $10,000.00 secure bond. All three have an initial court appearance in District Court on 05/03/2013. Burke Co Sheriff’s Office along with the NC Highway Patrol assisted with the chase.