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High speed chase ends in driver taking own life

LEETOWN, W.Va. — Berkeley County Sheriff Nathan Harmon says the suspect in a two-county pursuit died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Harmon is releasing more information on the investigation that began last Wednesday, Oct. 12.

Deputies from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office initiated a traffic stop for defective equipment and speeds exceeding 111 miles an hour on Route 9 near the 60-mile mark.

The driver of the black Infiniti, identified as Austin Michael Roher, failed to yield and proceeded westbound on Route 9, taking the Kearneysville/Leetown exit and went through the stop sign before heading southbound on Leetown Rd.
Police said Roher swerved around spike strips that had been deployed. He then turned off the lights on the car and continued at a high rate of speed onto Sulphur Springs Road into the oncoming lane

He ran through the red light at the intersection at Middleway Pike or Rt. 51 in Berkeley County and headed west. Units from the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office joined the pursuit at the first roundabout in Inwood.

The chase continued north onto Winchester Avenue (Rt. 11). Roher eventually came to a stop at a dead end on Lobo Lane.

Law enforcement officers gave verbal commands for the driver to exit. When he didn’t, Berkeley County deputies approached and found Roher had a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

He was taken by EMS to the Berkeley Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries.