135 mph chase ends in a north Charlotte crash - and a flurry of charges

Brendan Tinley
Brendan Tinley

A Gastonia man is in jail, facing a host of charges, after authorities say he led a state trooper on a drug-fueled chase that topped 135 miles per hour.

The pursuit ended early Monday afternoon, when Brendan Tinley’s rented Hyundai crashed into another car in north Charlotte.

Tinley, 20, has been charged with 18 offenses, including DWI, speeding to elude arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Trooper R.A Benge says he was monitoring the speeds of motorists on I-85 just after noon on Monday when Tinley’s car came barreling by at 107 miles per hour.

Benge pursued the car north and said he clocked it at 138 miles per hour as it passed the Graham Street exit.

Tinley took the Sugar Creek Road exit and drove through a construction zone at North Tryon Street, Benge said. Then the suspect tried to make a right turn on Atando Avenue, but crashed head-on into another car. No one was seriously hurt.

A blood test found that Tinley was impaired by heroin, Benge said. The trooper said a search of the car found needles, spoons and scales, all with heroin residue.

Tinley was in jail Monday night on a $16,000 bond.

Benge said he made the decision to pursue Tinley’s car because traffic was light on I-85 at the time, and because he feared what would happen if the car wasn’t stopped.

“At the speed he was going, he would have wrecked and killed somebody, or killed himself,” Benge said.