Erratic driver crashes, splits power pole in half

WAVY/Aaron Kurtz

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – A driver is facing several traffic-related charges after leading Norfolk police on a pursuit, then crashing into a power pole late Tuesday morning.

The 6200 block of Tidewater Drive, near Willow Wood Drive, was closed in both directions while Dominion Virginia Power worked to repair the damaged pole. The road reopened to traffic around 2:25 p.m.

“They said we couldn’t cross the bridge,” Maricar Aquino said.

According to Cpl. Melinda Wray with Norfolk police, around 11 a.m., an officer witnessed a green Nissan Altima run a stop sign at Somme and Alsace avenues. The officer activated his vehicle’s lights and sirens and attempted to pull over the driver, but he refused to stop.

Norfolk resident Chris Hankins described the chase and the accident.

“We heard the tires screeching … then it was bang, collision,” Hankins said.

Police said the driver continued to drive erratically and ran several more stop signs. At that point, police decided to terminate the pursuit for public safety. However, officers were able to catch up with the driver on Tidewater Drive when he crashed his vehicle into a power pole, causing it to split.

Jaleel F. Yelverton (Photo provided by the Norfolk Sheriff's Office)
Jaleel F. Yelverton (Photo provided by the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office)

“I seen a bunch of cops jump out and try to bang on the window,” Hankins said. “The window wouldn’t break though and they drew out their guns and was trying to tell the guy to get out the car.

The driver was taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital with minor injuries. He has been identified as 22-year-old Jaleel F. Yelverton and charged with the following:

  • Felony eluding police
  • Felony property damage
  • Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
  • Concealed weapon
  • Driving with a suspended operators license
  • Reckless driving

Yelverton is being held at the Norfolk City Jail.

Stay with WAVY on air and online for updates on this story.

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