Cocke County car chase ends in Sevier

Jul. 17, 2013 @ 11:24 PM

A dim headlight helped deputies from Cocke and Sevier counties track down a driver who allegedly fled the scene of a wreck.

Phillip Edward Nelson, 20, of 5185 Bogard Road in Cosby, now faces two counts of vehicular assault, leaving the scene of an accident, DUI and evading arrest. He was taken to the Cocke County Jail.

The chase started when Cocke County Deputy Jonathan Ball was traveling down Hooper Highway and came across a car that had just been involved in a hit and run accident. The occupants said they had been hit by a black car that came off Stonebrook Road without stopping and struck their car, according to the report.

Ball spotted a car matching the description provided by the victims, and noticed the rear driver’s side light was dimmer than the passenger side light. The car didn’t stop when he tried to pull it over, and Ball said he reached speeds as high as 115 mph while trying to catch the driver. At one point the driver turned down another road and evaded Ball for a short time, according to Ball’s report. He eventually crossed into Sevier County, where local deputies joined in the search.

Shortly after that, the car wrecked on Richardson Cove Road and Nelson was taken into custody after Ball found him climbing out of the driver’s side. Three other occupants from the car were later released.

He admitted to drinking five shots of liquor that night, and appeared unsteady on his feet, according to Ball’s report.

While an ambulance was called to the scene, the report only mentions Nelson was taken to Newport Medical Center so that blood could be drawn for a blood-alcohol test.

jfarrell@themountainpress.com