Authorities: Driver High On Meth Causes High Speed Chase
By Aundrea Cline-Thomas
VAN BUREN COUNTY, Tenn. - A high speed chase in the middle of the afternoon topped speeds of 100 miles per hour. A Van Buren County Deputy stopped to help what he thought was a stranded driver, when the driver fled.
"This is when I realized that he was taking off," Investigator Connor Wardlaw said while reviewing his dashcam video.
Around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon Wardlaw was fully involved in a high speed chase.
"We'll reach 105 miles per hour," he said. "It's wet roads."
The video showed a Dodge Dakota pick-up weaving through traffic. Deputies said Howard Eugene Brown was the driver.
"He is on the wrong side of the road right there," Wardlaw said. "I was wondering why he was running. What his intentions were."
Other jurisdictions assisted Wardlaw as the chase enters different counties. During the pursuit, Wardlaw saw the driver toss, what authorities said they believe is a small amount of drugs out the car window. In White County, officers tried to disable the pick up by throwing out spike strips, but the driver just went around them.
However, the spike strips worked in DeKalb County where the chase finally ended when the pick-up crashed into a guard rail. The driver jumped out of the car and headed into the brush. Deputy Wardlaw crashed too, and followed the driver along with his K-9 Ello. The chase was too much for Ello and caused Wardlaw to pull back.
"He seemed very disoriented," Wardlaw said about Ello. "And he wasn't hurt; he has been checked out."
Brown got away but was later arrested by DeKalb County authorities and was brought back to Van Buren County for questioning.
"The reason he didn't want to stop is he has a suspended driver's license (and) violated[sic] of probation in DeKalb County," Wardlaw said Brown told him.
Deputies also said Brown admitted to shooting meth..
"He said he didn't remember a lot of the pursuit," Wardlaw said. "He blacked out."
A pursuit that lasted nearly forty minutes, through three counties and that put innocent lives in danger.