The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

March 1, 2011

Driver leads authorities on chase to county’s edge

— A motorist led law-enforcement officials on a 30-minute chase from an Athens school zone north through Limestone County Tuesday before a barricade of patrols cars convinced him to stop.

The driver, who had not yet been identified at press time, is facing multiple charges, Athens Police Capt. Floyd Johnson said.

“Officer Daniel McNatt was working traffic near Athens Intermediate School on U.S. 72 in Athens about 2:30 p.m., when he clocked the driver going fast,” Johnson said. “McNatt tried to stop him, but he never would stop. He pulled into yards, hit a fence and a couple of signs.”

The driver, who police said was driving erratically in both lanes, reached speeds of at least 80 mph in his Pontiac as he headed out of Athens on Elkton Road and toward Ardmore via Oak Grove and Bethel roads.

Limestone Sheriff’s deputies and Ardmore Police officers joined the chase.

Officers twice tried to stop him by throwing down spike strips but were unsuccessful, Johnson said.

Deputies finally stopped him on Miller Lane at Alabama 251 just before 3 p.m. by forming a barricade, he said.

“He didn’t wreck,” Johnson said. “They blocked the road and he couldn’t get turned around because there were cars behind him, so I guess he decided to give it up.”

The man was bleeding from the side of his head and “may have gotten banged up a bit” due to the rough ride, Johnson said. He was being treated at Athens-Limestone Hospital.

Dispatchers initially described the speeding motorist as a possible 10-55 (intoxicated driver), but Johnson could not confirm whether the driver was intoxicated.

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