Canton, Ohio - Troopers say two Akron men were arrested Wednesday afternoon after leading units on a high-speed chase along I-77.

State Highway Patrol District 7 Crime Unit commander Lt. Todd Criss says the chase began when Sgt. Joel Smith attempted to stop a rental van from West Virginia for a marked lanes violation.

“As he attempted to stop the vehicle, it failed to stop and started to flee northbound,” he says. “At approximately the 95-mile post, Sgt. Smith observed the passenger throw a weapon out of the vehicle, striking the ground. He gave that information to another unit that was attempting to catch up to the pursuit, and he stopped and recovered the weapon.

Criss says the van got off at Tuscarawas Street exit for a short time and struck another vehicle before getting back onto the freeway and then breaking down near the exit for Mercy Medical Center.

Criss says the 21-year-old driver and 19-year-old passenger then exited the disabled vehicle and fled on foot before being apprehended farther down the ramp. The names of the suspects are not being released at this time, as formal charges are still pending. 

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