Officers arrest man after chase through Cades Cove

Apr. 08, 2014 @ 11:49 PM

A Pigeon Forge man who was allegedly driving under the influence led park rangers on a vehicular chase through the popular Cades Cove Loop Road Sunday afternoon after a ranger noticed him driving without a seat belt through the area.

Martin Ronald Woodard, 33, of Pigeon Forge, now faces charges of DUI, reckless driving, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, open container of alcohol, driving on a revoked license, a seat belt violation and interfering with an agency function.

He had his initial appearance in federal court Monday, according to park spokesperson Dana Soehn.

She said a ranger noticed Woodard driving without a seat belt at 3:48 p.m. near the John Oliver cabin, but Woodard wouldn’t pull over and continued along the one-way road, where visitors often stop to view wildlife or snap pictures.

Other rangers joined the chase, and Woodard wrecked at Sparks Lane around 4:04 p.m.

Woodard tried to run on foot, but Rangers apprehended him a few minutes later.

jfarrell@themountainpress.com