Note: This story was updated at 8:50 p.m.
OLIVER SPRINGS—A 32-year-old man was injured and is facing a half-dozen charges after he allegedly went off State Route 62 in a pickup truck while fleeing from Morgan County officials early Sunday, struck a utility pole and broke it in half, and then traveled down an embankment, where the vehicle he was driving rolled over onto its top in a ditch, authorities said.
Travis Lyles, 32, of Oliver Springs, was driving east on SR 62 in a 2004 Ford F-250 when his pickup truck went off the westbound side of the road at about 12:35 a.m. Sunday, the Tennessee Highway Patrol said. The crash occurred while Lyles was evading arrest and being pursued by the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, which was trying to stop him for speeding and swerving on the roadway, the THP said.
The crash occurred in the Morgan County portion of Oliver Springs on Winter Gap Road near Lookout Avenue.
The truck hit and broke a large power pole, which disrupted power to most of downtown Oliver Springs, fire photographer Tom Scott said. The truck ended up in the bottom of a large pit on its top with Lyles trapped. Removing him required a large response of agencies from Anderson and Morgan County, including Oliver Springs, Oak Ridge, Coalfield, and Joyner Fire Departments, Morgan County and Anderson County Emergency Services, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, Oliver Springs Police Department, Morgan County Rescue Squad, and Tennessee Highway Patrol.
A University of Tennessee Lifestar medical helicopter was called after the crash but aborted due to weather, authorities said.
Lyles is facing charges from both the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office and THP. The county charges are felony evading, reckless endangerment, and speeding. The THP charges are driving under the influence (second offense), violation of the due care law, and driving left of center.
Authorities don’t know whether Lyles was wearing a seatbelt, according to the THP report.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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