An Anderson County man suspected of fleeing a crash on Clinton Highway last week was found slumped over with blood on his face in a damaged car that reeked inside of alcohol, authorities said. The suspect, Larry Eugene Ward, fled from officers, and he dragged three emergency responders with him and almost ran over a constable’s legs before crashing into three other vehicles on Bull Run Road, including a deputy’s patrol car, authorities said.
The constable, Jennings F. Foust, 64, was dragged almost 50 feet before Anderson County Sheriff’s Department Robert J. Collins was able to pull him from the vehicle, the Tennessee Highway Patrol said.
While trying to flee, Ward crashed into three more vehicles, including Collins’ patrol car and Foust’s car, and hit or nearly hit an ambulance, authorities said.
Ward, 34, of Clinton, remained jailed Wednesday at the Anderson County Detention Facility on a slew of charges including aggravated assault, evading arrest, reckless driving, public intoxication, and driving under the influence.
Authorities reported that Ward had fled from a crash on Clinton Highway at Bull Run Road in a 2011 Chevrolet four-door sedan at about 9 p.m. Thursday, January 15. He was reported to be driving southbound toward Knox County in his car, which had heavy front-end damage, authorities said.
While the Tennessee Highway Patrol was investigating the Clinton Highway crash, the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department received a report that the suspect’s vehicle was stopped in the middle of Bull Run Road, with the driver slumped over the wheel.
After officers responded, Foust, the constable, attempted to take the keys from the car when Ward tried to flee, authorities said. The THP said Ward dragged Foust close to 50 feet before Collins, the deputy, was able to pull him from the vehicle.
Foust fell to the ground as Ward accelerated, and the car narrowly missed the constable’s legs, Collins said in a Sheriff’s Department report.
Collins said he and Donnie Shipley, a volunteer for the Claxton Volunteer Fire Department, had also been partially in the vehicle, trying to remove Foust when Ward started to flee, and he and Shipley were also dragged along the roadway.
After Foust fell from the vehicle, authorities said, Ward continued driving west on Bull Run Road with Collins in pursuit in his patrol car. They said Ward turned around to drive east, and as he was driving away, he struck the push bumper on the front of Collins’ patrol car, causing minor damage.
Ward then drove east, back to where officers first met him, and hit Foust’s car, which was unoccupied, and either hit or nearly hit the ambulance, according to reports. He then continued driving east on Bull Run Road and hit a third vehicle, a 2004 Lexus four-door sedan driven by Victoria H. Thomas, 59, of Clinton.
Authorities said Ward’s Chevrolet became disabled in that collision, and he fled on foot but was caught nearby by the Sheriff’s Department.
The THP said it charged Ward with driving under the influence and would have multiple traffic charges, and the Sheriff’s Department would have additional charges.
The Sheriff’s Department report lists 14 charges against Ward, including three counts each of aggravated assault, reckless driving, and reckless endangerment; two counts each of evading arrest and resisting stop, frisk, halt, and arrest; and public intoxication.
The Sheriff’s Department website lists another 23 charges, including hit-and-run, driving uninsured, disorderly conduct, and leaving the scene of an accident.
The THP said Ward was injured in the series of crashes but refused treatment.
Collins, 31, was not injured, the THP said.
In his report, Collins said Foust was examined by emergency medical workers, and he had scratches on his left leg from being dragged.
The THP said Thomas, the driver of the fourth vehicle, was injured and taken by ambulance to a local hospital.
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