Sgt. Chad Payne is information officer for the Dade County Sheriff's Office. He wrote this gripping account of yesterday's police chase and subsequent cliff rescue in Haletown.
On Tuesday, October 8, at approximately 11:30 p.m., a Dade County deputy observed a vehicle traveling on Interstate 24. After the vehicle passed the deputy, he observed the vehicle turn its lights off. The Deputy caught up to the vehicle and the vehicle began to flee toward Marion County, Tenn.
The vehicle exited Interstate 24 at the Haletown exit, eventually returning to Dade County, where its two occupants drove down a driveway and ran from the vehicle on foot. Shortly after the suspects entered the woods, the deputy heard the female passenger screaming for help. The deputy located the subjects by following the passenger’s voice, and it was found that the two suspects had fallen off an approximate 30-foot cliff, landing on the rocks below.
The deputy immediately made his way to the two suspects and began to render aid. Emergency medical services, firefighters, and Mountain Rescue all responded to the scene, where a lengthy extrication took place. The male driver was flown to the hospital by air ambulance, and the female passenger was taken to the hospital by ground ambulance.
The vehicle the suspects were driving was confirmed stolen out of Chattanooga.
Warrants will be taken on the driver, and are likely on the female as well. The names of the suspects are expected to be released at a later date, as the investigation is still ongoing.
Their condition at this time is currently unknown.
--Sgt. Chad Payne