© 2021 West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Telling West Virginia's Story
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Inmate Escapes Police Van Along West Virginia Turnpike

West Virginia Turnpike
wikimedia Commons

Authorities are searching for an inmate who escaped from a police transport van along the West Virginia Turnpike and then allegedly stole a car.

Fayette County Sheriff Steve Kessler says in a news release that 37-year-old Paul Ira Hopkins of Smithers was handcuffed and wearing ankle shackles when he got the van's door open and jumped over a guardrail Wednesday near the North Beckley Toll Plaza.

Kessler says a transport officer was unable to pursue Hopkins because he was required to secure four other inmates in the van.

The release says police tracked Hopkins to a garage where he allegedly stole a car. He was wearing an orange inmate jumpsuit.

Hopkins was being transported after being sentenced to six months for petit larceny and fleeing from an officer.

WVPB is local news, education, music, and entertainment for West Virginia.
Your donation today will help keep us strong and vital.