Driver flees, leaving puppy behind, after car hits gallery on Lexington's Versailles Road

bestep@herald-leader.comApril 20, 2014 

A driver whose car hit a building Sunday night on Versailles Road might have been fleeing from police.

The car that hit South Hill Gallery, doing extensive damage, matched the description of one whose driver had sped away from an attempted traffic stop a minute earlier, Lt. Eddie Hart said.

There was a puppy in the car that was thrown to the floorboard in the wreck and might have suffered cracked ribs, Hart said.

The crash happened about 9 p.m., after an officer saw a car driving recklessly on High Street. The officer tried to stop the vehicle, but the driver of the four-door Buick took off at high speed, Hart said.

The officer didn't chase the car because of the risk to other motorists but did broadcast a description of the vehicle.

Within a minute, another officer saw a car matching the description that had crashed into the gallery, Hart said.

The driver was gone when the officer checked. Witnesses said they saw a man get out of the car, run a few steps and fall down, then get up and run away, Hart said.

Police found an open container of alcohol in the car, Hart said.

Police searched the area and brought in dogs to try to find the driver, but they hadn't located him by late Sunday.

The man might have caught a taxi out of the area, Hart said.

Police also found a wallet and other items in the car, and they think they know who was driving, Hart said.

The Lexington Humane Society picked up the dog for safekeeping.

The driver could face charges related to the dog's injuries and other charges.

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