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Two days after trooper died, Wake County deputies say bike rider hit 160 mph during a chase

Richard James Miraglia
Richard James Miraglia CCBI

Less than 48 hours after a state trooper died during a car chase, Wake County sheriff's deputies chased a Johnston County man on a motorcycle and charged him with driving at 160 mph after he refused to stop for them.

The midday chase Wednesday ended with the arrest of Richard James Maglia, 31, after his motorcycle crashed on White Oak Road near Country Club Drive. The sheriff's office said he was not seriously hurt.

Miraglia was driving with a revoked license when Deputy S.J. O'Byrne tried to pull him over in a traffic stop, charges against him say.

Driving with a revoked license apparently led to the chase that killed Trooper S.N. Bullard on Monday night, the State Highway Patrol said.

The Wednesday chase led onto U.S. 70 for a time, and O'Byrne cited Miaglia for traveling at 160 mph in a 55 mph zone there.

Miraglia also was charged with felony fleeing to elude arrest, felony possession of dextroamphetamine pills and misdemeanor possession of marijuana paraphernalia.

O'Byrne issued Miraglia tickets for speeding, driving with a revoked license and reckless driving.

The charges from O'Byrne were added to 15 other charges, most of them for traffic offenses, that Miraglia has pending in Wake and Johnston counties. He had a court date Wednesday for four of the Johnston County charges, according to the state court system online calendar.

He has more dates next week and in June and July.

The trooper, Bullard, died when his cruiser crashed into an Interstate 77 bridge abutment while he and another trooper were chasing a car that had refused to stop at a driver's-license checkpoint in Surry County.

Authorities had arrested Dakota Kape Whitt early Wednesday in Bullard's death.

Troopers said Whitt, 22, was driving the car that Bullard, 24, was chasing, and they accused him of murder, driving with a revoked license and fleeing to elude arrest.

Deputies, like law enforcement officers across the state, were wearing black ribbons on their badges in memory of Bullard when they arrested Miraglia.

The sheriff's office said Miraglia's bike wrecked when he came up behind a slower-moving car on White Oak Road. He and the pursuing deputies all hit their brakes.

One of the cruisers "bumped" into Miraglia's motorcycle, but that was not the cause of the wreck, the sheriff's office said.

Ron Gallagher 919-829-4572 @RPGKT
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