Suspect in stolen vehicle wrecks

Published 1:00 pm Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A man who allegedly stole a vehicle from the County Barn facility on U.S. Highway 11, ended up crashing the vehicle and suffering numerous injuries.

On Oct. 22, the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Office received a call in reference to a pickup truck being stolen, said Chief Deputy Shane Tucker.

“An employee saw a male putting a type of metal into the back of another employee’s pickup truck,” Tucker said. “He asked what he was doing and the suspect jumped in the truck and drove off heading south on Highway 11,” Tucker said.

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The employee that saw the man drive away then got in his own vehicle and followed the other pickup. Tucker said he called 911 while in pursuit.

Near McNeill -Steephollow Road, the suspect lost control of the pickup truck and Tucker said it rolled several times.

The suspect, identified as Justin R. Ryals, 31, of 107 Willow St., was ejected from the vehicle into a wooded area, said Tucker.

Ryals was transported by helicopter to Forrest General Hospital in critical condition.

Tucker said Ryals remains under treatment and an arrest warrant for felony taking of a motor vehicle will be issued at a later date.

The Sheriff’s Office later learned that Ryals was released from the Pearl River County Correctional Facility the day before the apparent theft and accident occurred.