VICKSBURG, MS (WLBT) - It was a rush hour nightmare. A Jackson man has been identified in a robbery and high-speed chase in Vicksburg along Interstate-20 Thursday.
The 24-year-old is being treated at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson after crashing his SUV trying to escape officers. It happened just after 4:30 about one mile west of the Edwards exit. But the chase began right after a robbery of the Kangaroo gas station on Washington Street in Vicksburg.
Vicksburg Police Chief Walter Armstrong tells us Lemario Smoot came into the gas station to pay for items, and as soon as the clerk opened the register, Smoot grabbed the cash and took off. The clerks called 911.
The getaway vehicle, a Ford Expedition, was spotted by officers heading toward Jackson on I-20. Officers from Vicksburg, and the Mississippi Highway Patrol were involved in the chase, with Smoot swerving around vehicles in a construction zone. He lost control near Edwards.
The vehicle overturned into trees along the shoulder of I-20. Chief Armstrong says Smoot was trapped inside the vehicle for at least 35 minutes, stalling traffic for miles.
Smoot faces charges of strong-arm robbery. Chief Armstrong says a host of other charges are pending.
Smoot will be arrested as soon as he is released from the hospital. Chief Armstrong also tells us Smoot may be a suspect in similar robberies in Jackson.