A two-county car chase that started in Anderson County before being terminated by deputies Wednesday afternoon ended with a two-vehicle crash in Knox County that injured four people, authorities said.
Anderson County Sheriff’s Department deputies were looking for Ralpheal Cameron Coffey, 26, around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Claxton area for several outstanding warrants, Chief Deputy Mark Lucas said. He said Coffey was spotted in a maroon Chevrolet Impala on Edgemoor Road.
“As deputies started to make a vehicle stop on Coffey, he began fleeing toward Clinton Highway on Edgemoor Road,” Lucas said. “Deputies began a pursuit that crossed Clinton Highway onto Raccoon Valley Road and into Knox County. Deputies lost sight of the vehicle as it went under the railroad trestle on Raccoon Valley Road in Heiskell.”
Witnesses pointed out that the vehicle turned southbound onto Heiskell Road toward Powell, Lucas said. But deputies were unable to locate the vehicle and terminated their pursuit.
“We notified both Knox County Sheriff’s Office and Tennessee Highway Patrol of the pursuit, vehicle information, and that Coffey was wanted on outstanding warrants,” Lucas said. “Around five minutes later, we were notified by Knox County the vehicle had been involved in a crash on Central Avenue Pike at Callahan Road (in north Knox County).”
The Knox County Sheriff’s Office said Coffey was fleeing from Anderson County deputies in the 2007 Chevy Impala when he almost struck an officer with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office in his cruiser around 2:30 p.m. on Heiskell Road.
The officer turned the cruiser around to pursue Coffey, but found the Impala had crashed into a 2007 white Ford F150 on Central Avenue Pike at Callahan Drive, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office said.
Coffey and his passenger, as well as the driver of the Ford and his passenger, were taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center with what were described as incapacitating injuries, authorities said.
“Not only was Coffey wanted out of Anderson County, but he also had outstanding warrants in Knox County that include evading arrest; unlawful to refuse inspection and count of any wildlife taken; wildlife resources agency violation; license or permit required for hunting, fishing, and trapping; and criminal impersonation,” the Knox County Sheriff’s Office said. “He has a criminal history in Knox County that includes multiple traffic offenses.
“It is unknown at this time whether or not those involved were wearing seat belts,” the Knox County Sheriff’s Office said. “Drugs and alcohol are not thought to be factors in the crash. Charges against Coffey are pending. More details will be released as they develop.”
The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department said most of Coffey’s previous arrests have been by the Oak Ridge Police Department and the Seventh Judicial District Crime Task Force.
“Our warrants are out of Criminal Court for failing to report on felony drug charges and violation of community corrections,” Lucas said. “Oak Ridge Police Department has a felony drug warrant and Oliver Springs Police Department has a failure to appear as well.”
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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