Tractor-trailer driver from Virginia dies in shootout with New York deputies


GENESEO, N.Y. (NBC) – A tractor-trailer driver from Virginia is dead after deputies say he led them on a chase through two counties in Western New York, which ended with gunshots.

The FBI is now involved in the investigation.

The shootout started as a traffic stop in Leroy around 9p.m. Wednesday when authorities tried to stop the driver for speeding.

The truck appeared to stop, but investigators say it took off toward Batavia, then back to Leroy, into Pavilion and onto I-390. The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office then became involved.

Sheriff Thomas Dougherty says the driver was firing at deputies while weaving in and out of lanes toward patrol cars.

The tractor-trailer had already crashed into a few police vehicles.

Deputies used spike strips to try to stop the driver, but he kept going.

The chase ended in Geneseo, where deputies shot at the cab of the truck.

The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the driver is dead and identified him Thursday afternoon as 58-year-old Joshua Blessed from Harrisonburg, Virginia.

No law enforcement officers or civilians were injured in the incident according to deputies, though there were close calls.

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