Police: Driver who fled scene after crash that killed Chesapeake track star arrested in Newport News


Jonathan E. Earls

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Police have made an arrest more than a month after a recent Western Branch High graduate was killed in a fiery crash that happened during a police pursuit in Chesapeake.

Virginia State Police said Jonathan E. Earls was arrested Sunday during a traffic stop in Newport News. The 29-year-old Hampton resident was charged with hit-and-run/fatality, felony eluding, felony homicide, felony possession of a firearm, reckless driving, and driving while revoked in connection to the July 18 crash and for charges related to the traffic stop.

He was taken to the Newport News City Jail and denied bond.

Police said that back on July 18, Earls sped off when officers tried to conduct a DUI stop and eventually struck a car driven by Jahsani Jean-Baptiste on I-64.

Jean-Baptiste, a track star at Western Branch who had a scholarship to Wingate, died at the scene after his car became engulfed in flames.

Earls was able to flee into a wooded area, police said.

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