FOUR OAKS, N.C. – A Four Oaks police officer injured in a high speed chase after his cruiser flipped upside down on U.S. Highway 301 has been identified.
Officer Matt Peedin, 27, is back home recovering after being treated and released at WakeMed in Raleigh Tuesday evening.
The crash happened around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday near Boyette Road after officers from Newton Grove chased a motorcyclist, 20-year-old David Yankel Saxon Ashkenazi.
When the pursuit crossed over the county line, Johnston County sheriff’s deputies and Four Oaks Police assisted.
Eyewitnesses saw an SUV pull in front of the chase headed south on Highway 301 causing the wreck.
“It was flying. Boom! We come to the door it sounded real bad. I thought somebody got killed,” said Danny Poston, who saw the crash from his front yard. “A Ford car pulled out in the middle lane and they tried to miss him and he turned flipped the Four Oaks police car then the sheriff’s car tried to miss him and he slid over into our yard.”
Poston said rescue crews quickly showed up and tried to free Officer Peedin who was pinned in his cruiser.
“He was bleeding in the head and they put him on the boards and stuff. I could see the blood around his head,” Poston described.
Eyewitnesses say the pursuit continued into Four Oaks with the motorcycle apparently circling around and heading north back toward the crash site.
“I heard a bunch of sirens and I went out to the road there and I seen this motorcycle come by and he was flying,” described eyewitness Charles Lawhorn.
Police say the motorcycle’s turnaround likely brought the chase to an abrupt end.
“They said, ‘That’s him’ and they got him off of the bike and retained him and put the cuffs on him and they put him in the police car,” said Poston.
David Yankel Saxon AshkenaziAshkenazi was charged with felony fleeing to avoid arrest, possession of marijuana, and eight other charges.
He is from Spring Valley, N.Y.
Ashkenazi told officers he was trying to get back to New York from Florida, where he purchased the motorcycle he was operating, police said.