Thursday afternoon, a DPS initiated traffic stop at the 131 mile marker eastbound on I-30 resulted in a high speed pursuit that ended in a pasture north of FM 1536 near State Highway 19N. Speeds in the chase exceeded 120 mph, according to Tanner Crump with the Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office.
Crump said that when the DPS Trooper made the stop he attempted to arrest the four males that were in the auto after searching for illegal drugs due to the pungent odor of marijuana. Instead of marijuana a firearm was found. One of the individuals, not the original driver, jumped back into the auto and sped away to Highway 67 near Saltillo. The trooper lost sight of the vehicle but another trooper saw the vehicle and driver on I-30, now westbound. Hopkins County Criminal Investigator Corley Weatherford was westbound and took up the pursuit. Jumping the ditch to 67 again, the driver made his way to 19N with Weatherford in pursuit. Joining the pursuit was SSPD’s Mark Estes. Now Estes, Weatherford, and a DPS trooper were in pursuit.
The man fleeing went into the ditch about a quarter mile north of FM 1536 and Highway 19N intersection. A foot race began through the pastures in that area. The race ended when the man fleeing encountered Sammy Weaver of the Cooper Park Police who is also a retired Sulphur Springs Police Officer. Weaver stopped the man at gunpoint and held him there until the other members of law enforcement arrived.
Crump said he was thankful for the 4-way stop sign at Birthright. No officer nor law enforcement vehicle sustained injury in the high speed chase. Crump said that he has had no report of any accident at the stop sign since they were installed. One of the men will be charged with a felony. Crump is not sure of other charges that will be filed. KSST News will follow-up on the story Friday morning following a magistrates hearing for the four men.