Fauquier man dies in bizarre chase and crash case
BY SCOTT SHENK
THE FREE LANCE–STAR
What started as a police pursuit in Fauquier County late Monday night became a fatal crash and then a shooting investigation.
And while police were later gathering evidence at the crash site on U.S. 17, a suspected drunken driver crashed into a Virginia State Police cruiser.
The details are sketchy at this point as the investigation is still in the early stages, but the incident ended with the death of 24-year-old Fauquier resident Corey M. Chamberlain, who was driving the car involved in the police chase.
The incident started at 10 p.m. Monday when a 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse began tailgating a Fauquier deputy driving a marked cruiser on Dumfries Road north of Warrenton, according to the Fauquier Sheriff’s Office and state police, both of which are investigating the incident.
The deputy eventually turned onto southbound U.S. 29, and the suspect followed the cruiser.
Chamberlain, according to the sheriff’s office, “continued to tailgate the marked cruiser, then abruptly swerved into the left lane and passed at a high rate of speed.”
The deputy tried to stop the Eclipse, but the car continued on the highway, reaching speeds over 100 mph, the sheriff’s office said.
The pursuit continued through Opal and onto southbound U.S. 17. The chase ended when the Eclipse swerved into the median near Liberty High School in Bealeton and overturned several times in the northbound lanes.
Chamberlain was ejected from the car and ended up on the roadside.
Deputies treated the man until rescue personnel arrived, the sheriff’s office said.
Chamberlain was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he later died.
The investigation took a bizarre turn early Tuesday morning when the hospital contacted the investigating trooper, J.T. Price, and told him that Chamberlain had suffered what appeared to be a gunshot wound, according to state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.
State police then returned to the crash scene to look for additional evidence. No gun was found in the car or along the road.
At 5:22 a.m., while troopers and investigators were searching along U.S. 17, a northbound car driven by a Fauquier man ran off the highway and struck a cruiser, which had its emergency lights on, Geller said.
Price was in the cruiser and suffered minor injuries.
The driver of the car, 55-year-old Joseph R. Jenkins, was not injured.
He was charged with driving under the influence and failing to switch lanes for stopped emergency vehicles.
He was incarcerated at the Fauquier jail.
Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436