High-speed chase ends at closed J Highway bridge
A 19-year-old Mountain Home, Arkansas, Noah Lee Lawhead, led officers from several different departments on a high-speed chase Monday night, beginning in Gassville, Arkansas, and tearing through Mountain Home at speeds ranging from 80 to 115 mph, according to police radio transmissions. The chase continued up Arkansas Highway 201 / Missouri J Highway and ended in Howard’s Ridge when the suspect, driving a Kawasaki Ninja racing motorcycle, finally stopped at the closed Lick Creek bridge. Lawhead was arrested at the scene and transported to the Ozark County Jail, where he waived extradition rights. He was transported back to the Baxter County (Arkansas) Detention Center and was charged with fleeing in a vehicle, reckless driving, speeding, five counts of running red lights, two counts of running stop signs, three counts of failure to use turn signals, improper lane change and no liability insurance. He is being held in the Baxter County Jail on a $15,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court there Aug. 6.
Howard’s Ridge resident Michele Strain, who happened to be near the Lick Creek bridge on J Highway as the suspect tore through construction barricades, said in a message to the Times, “He got to the bridge and just laid his motorcycle over, knowing he couldn’t go any farther.” The bridge, which has been closed since April 27, is being replaced, with completion set for mid-September. Strain said in a Facebook post, “We didn’t know at first if he was going to jump [the creek], the way he was driving.”
Photo courtesy Michele Strain