By GREG JORDAN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
An ongoing argument on Facebook spilled onto Mercer County roadways Tuesday when one car allegedly swerved into the path of another, leading to a chase up U.S. Route 460 ending with pepper spray in Bluefield.
Mercer County 911 received calls at approximately 1:15 p.m. about a road rage incident on Route 460 involving two drivers trying to run each other off the road. The Bluefield Police Department and West Virginia State Police stopped two Dodge Hemi Chargers, one yellow and the other silver, near the intersection of Route 460 and Cumberland Road.
Patrolman K.L. Adams of the Bluefield Police said the incident started outside of Princeton on Courthouse Road. The silver Charger allegedly swerved into the path of the yellow Charger driven by Dovie Small, 46, of Princeton. Two female juveniles, Small’s 16-year-old daughter and the daughter’s friend, were in the car with her.
Both girls were “hanging out the windows and screaming” during the incident, Adams said.
Small then pursued the silver Charger driven by a Princeton woman who had another woman, also a Princeton resident, with her. The silver Charger’s driver called Mercer County 911 and stayed on the phone with a dispatcher while the chase was underway, Adams said.
No charges were filed against the silver Charger’s driver or her passenger. There was no evidence Tuesday to support the report about them swerving into Small’s lane, Adams said.
The pursuit continued west on Route 460, the cars swerving most of the time. When they reached Bluefield, the women in the silver Charger squirted pepper spray at Small’s yellow Charger. Then pepper spray was squirted from Small’s car, Adams said.
“They were using all lanes including the shoulder,” Adams said at the scene. “When we first observed them, the yellow Charger was on the shoulder attempting to get the other vehicle to roll the window down to pepper spray them. They had three lanes of traffic coming up here with cars backed up.”
Adams said later at Mercer County Magistrate Court in Bluefield he would not describe the incident as road rage since the arguments leading to the chase started on Facebook.
Small was arraigned before Magistrate Sandra Dorsey. A $25,000 bond was set. Child endangerment carries a term of one to five years in prison and a $3,000 fine. Reckless driving carries a penalty of five to 90 days in jail, a $25 to $500 fine, or both.