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High-speed chase ends on busy downtown street

By Angela Yingling
Published On: Apr 05 2013 11:20:59 AM CDT
Updated On: Apr 05 2013 11:22:38 AM CDT

It started as a 911 call about a man stumbling in the parking lot of a liquor store on State Street. It escalated into a pursuit and several very close calls with other cars. The dashboard camera captured the chase to a deadly conclusion.

BRISTOL, Tenn./Va. -

It started as a 911 call about a man stumbling in the parking lot of a liquor store on State Street in Bristol, Virginia, a narrow two-lane downtown road with plenty of parked cars, businesses, and pedestrians on both sides.

It escalated into a pursuit and several very close calls with other cars. The dashboard camera captured the chase to a deadly conclusion.

The incident was also caught from up above. Click here to view the real-time chase video from all angles.

The driver of the car, 43-year-old William Marcella, was speeding down State Street at nearly 75 miles per hour when it plowed into a parked van; the marked speed limit street is 25 miles per hour. He narrowly missed two cars at a red light and came to a stop in front of the Paramount Center for the Arts.

We showed the video to Michael Brabson, who was sitting in the van parked on State Street. Brabson was injured when the van was slammed by Marcella's car. "It's painful to watch. I'm telling you, it's still painful to sit there and watch it," he said.

The crash ended in front of downtown restaurant KP. We showed the video to KP owner Lisa Martin. “It was like a ball of fire coming up through there, they said," she told us.

The images won't soon be forgotten by people who were on State Street that night. “There wasn't someone else injured? That's amazing, because there were lot of people downtown that night," added Martin.

There are daily reminders of the crash for Brabson, but he realizes the outcome could have been much different. 

Police tell us Marcella died of blunt force trauma. The medical examiner's office says Marcella had a blood alcohol content of 0.31 that night; that's almost four times the legal limit of 0.08.

Click here to view the real-time chase video from all angles.