Man tries to flee, flips van before being caught

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Crashed van driven by Merida/Laurel County Sheriff's Department
Rodney Merida/Laurel County Detention Center

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – A North Carolina teenager tries to run from deputies but loses control, flipping the van he was driving.

Now he’s in jail.

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According to Laurel County Sheriff John Root, Rodney Merida, of Shawboro, N.C., is charged with DUI, first-degree fleeing, speeding, fleeing on foot, resisting arrest, reckless driving and other offenses following the incident Sunday evening.

The sheriff said Deputy Allen Turner arrested Merida late Sunday afternoon off Jaw Road, about eight miles north of London. Merida is accused fleeing at speeds of more than 80 miles per hour in a Ford Econoline van. He lost control, crashing into a tree and over turning.

Merida tried to run but was caught and charged after a brief scuffle, Root said. Once inside the patrol car, he continued to struggle, trying to break out the car’s windows.

Assisting for the Laurel Sheriff’s Office was: Deputy Jamie Etherton, Deputy Brent France, K-9 Deputy Gary Mehler, Deputy Hunter Disney, and Deputy Daniel Reed. Also assisting were Ambulance Inc. of Laurel County, London Laurel Rescue Squad, and East Bernstadt Fire and Rescue.