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DUI charge follows wild incident in Fredericksburg

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By KEITH EPPS

A Spotsylvania County man was arrested Tuesday following a wild incident during which he’s accused of striking another driver, crashing a minivan into guardrail and sign and leading police on a foot chase, police said.

The incident started about 2 p.m. in the 3300 block of Fall Hill Avenue, Fredericksburg police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said.

A 16-year-old girl reported that she was at the stoplight at Wicklow Drive when a red minivan passed her on the left, striking her vehicle. The minivan driver then took off at a high rate of speed, down a hill toward U.S. 1.

Off-duty city police Lt. Mike Presutto was in the Fredericksburg Shopping Center when he saw the van cross U.S. 1 being driven recklessly, Bledsoe said. He saw the vehicle turn onto Washington Avenue and notified on-duty officers about the vehicle.

Officers next saw the van on Lafayette Boulevard heading out of town, Bledsoe said. The van was at Dead Man’s Curve near the National Park Visitor’s Center when it crashed into a guardrail and took out a sign belonging to the park service. The driver got out of the wrecked vehicle and took off on foot toward Belman Road via a wooded hill, Bledsoe said.

Auxiliary police officer Patrick Swartz was waiting when the suspect came out of the woods near Allied Waste on the Blue and Gray Parkway. Swartz and two city sheriff’s deputies took the suspect into custody.

Clarence Wayne Wallace Jr., 29, was charged with driving while intoxicated, two counts of felony hit-and-run, eluding, obstruction of justice and driving on a revoked license. A facial laceration he apparently suffered in the crash was checked out by medical personnel before Wallace was placed in the Rappahannock Regional Jail under a $3,500 bond.

The wrecked van belongs to a King George woman, Bledsoe said. It was not immediately clear how Wallace came into possession of it.

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