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$100k of lawn care equipment burned in fiery crash on Interstate 85

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PETERSBURG, Va. -- A police pursuit resulted in a fiery crash that closed Interstate 85, near Interstate 95, in Petersburg Tuesday morning. The northbound left lane remained closed at 9:30 a.m., all other lanes have since reopened.

Witnesses said the pursuit involved multiple law enforcement vehicles.

"The truck had just passed me traveling northbound and was being followed by four police cars with lights flashing," witness Heather Rike said. "I could see in my rear view mirror the truck go off the left lane and hit the barrier, it immediately burst into flames."

Photos submitted to WTVR show what appears to be a burning vehicle on the side of the interstate. Police have not yet said if anyone was hurt in the crash.

Fiery incident on I-85. (PHOTO: Chad Conner)

Fiery incident on I-85. (PHOTO: Chad Conner)

Another image showed a plume of black smoke in the air as traffic was backed up for at least four miles on the interstate.

Incident closed I-85 in Petersburg (PHOTO: Susie Meanor)

Incident closed I-85 in Petersburg (PHOTO: Susie Meanor)

The Dinwiddie County Sheriff's Office said the suspect stole a vehicle in Chesterfield and drove it to the Produce Center on Route 1 in the north of the county.

Dee Short, owner of Short's Lawn Care, said the suspect abandoned the vehicle, assaulted one of his employees at the store, and stole his work truck.

Dee Short's work truck was stolen and wrecked on Interstate 85 in Petersburg, according to the Dinwiddie County Sheriff's Office.

Dee Short's work truck was stolen and wrecked on Interstate 85 in Petersburg, according to the Dinwiddie County Sheriff's Office.

"When my worker turned around, the gentleman approached him in the jaw," Short said. "Then the dude jumped in. The keys were there, and then gone."

Short estimated that $100,000 worth of lawn care equipment was lost in the fire.

June Boyd, a manager at the Produce Center, said the suspect was acting strange inside the store when he bought lottery tickets and cigarettes.

"I was trying to get him through my line as quick as possible," Boyd said. "I was afraid of what he was going to do."

Sources said the suspect is in custody and charges are pending.

This is a developing story. Anyone with additional information can submit a news tip here.