Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
A man and woman are in custody following a high speed chase through two counties late Wednesday.
Jeremy James Wimberly and Jessica Diane Smith, both of Orange, were arrested Wednesday evening by deputies of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office following a high speed chase which reached speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour.
According to a press release from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Narcotics investigators attempted to make a traffic stop on a black Dodge Charger at approximately 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, on FM 1442 north of FM 105 near Orangefield. The vehicle would not stop and law enforcement personnel with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and Orange Police Department began pursuing the automobile.
The driver of the fleeing vehicle, later identified as Wimberly, 37, then headed west on Interstate 10 and surpassed 100 mph while attempting to evade authorities. Deputies in pursuit observed an object being thrown from the fleeing vehicle’s passenger side window while driving down the Interstate. Other deputies in pursuit stopped to search the area and located a handgun.
Wimberly continued west on Interstate 10 and exited at FM 1132 in Vidor, before turning back east and heading back toward Orange. The vehicle exited at FM 1136 and then headed north to State Highway 12. The car continued east toward Newton County and to County Road 7079, where Wimberly and Smith, 25, abandoned the vehicle and attempted to flee on foot through a wooded area.
Smith was located shortly thereafter hiding in the woods, but a K-9 Unit with the City of Beaumont Police Department was brought in and later located Wimberly.
The handgun, which authorities say Wimberly threw from the vehicle, was identified as previously being reported stolen in Louisiana.
Wimberly was charged with Evading Detention with prior conviction, a Felony 3 charge, as well as possession of a stolen firearm, which is a State Jail Felony, Unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and tampering with physical evidence. Smith was charged with misdemeanor Evading Detention and Tampering with Physical Evidence.
Both Smith and Wimberly remain in custody at the Orange County Correctional Facililty. Judge David Peck, Orange County Justice of the Peace in Precinct 1, set Wimberly’s bond at $85,000 and Smith’s bond at $8,500.