Harrisonburg truck driver shot dead in high speed chase on NY highway

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — On Wednesday evening, deputies in Livingston County, New York, pursued a suspect in a high-speed chase on Interstate 390 after they say a Harrisonburg tractor-trailer driver refused to comply during a traffic stop. In a press conference on Thursday, Sheriff Thomas Dougherty, of the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office, said the pursuit started at 8:37 p.m. after the driver failed to stop when a deputy tried to pull him over for speeding. The driver has been identified as 58-year-old Joshua Blessed, of Harrisonburg, previously known as Sergia Jourev.

During the chase, Sheriff Dougherty says Blessed tried to ram oncoming vehicles, including law enforcement, and fired shots at law enforcement during the chase, as well as making multiple U-turns in his rig to try and throw off the pursuing vehicles. Sheriff Dougherty said Blessed “showed no regard for human life” throughout the pursuit. Eventually, Blessed was stopped near the town of Geneseo, where police fired back at Blessed.

Just before 10 p.m., Blessed was taken into custody with gunshot wounds and died shortly afterward from his injuries. WHSV reached out to the company that owned the truck, Yurman Express LLC, in Harrisonburg. The owner said the truck was theirs under a lease, and Blessed was contracted as a driver to pick up dairy products in Batavia, NY.

Sheriff Dougherty said it is unclear what the motive was for shooting at law enforcement or why Blessed did not comply with the traffic stop.

The investigation is still ongoing.

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