Carter County Sheriff’s Office report reveals additional details of three-county pursuit, driver still sought


(Photo: WJHL)

CARTER COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Carter County deputies are still searching for the man accused of leading officials on a pursuit Monday night through three counties and striking a deputy.

According to a police report from the Carter County Sheriff’s Office, Ryan Dixon is wanted on charges of felony aggravated assault, evading arrest and leaving the scene of an accident among other charges related to the chase.

Deputies wrote in the report that the chase began at Sunoco, 1258 Milligan Highway, on Monday night. Deputies reported that they noticed Dixon, a man wanted on multiple felony warrants, in the passenger seat of a parked Silver Chevorlet Cruz.

As deputies attempted to coax Dixon out of the vehicle, he became “very agitated” and jumped into the driver’s seat as Deputy Justin Covington opened the driver-side door of the car.

According to the police report, Dixon then threw the car into reverse and began accelerating, dragging Covington along the ground until the Cruz crashed into a parked Jeep Laredo.

Covington managed to get away from the Cruz as Dixon fled, speeding down Milligan Highway toward Okalona Road. Another deputy pursuing Dixon reported that the Cruz sped onto Interstate 26 at exit 27 traveling toward Erwin, took exit 32, and re-entered the interstate traveling back toward Johnson City.

The deputy in pursuit noted that traffic was light at the time, but the Cruz still forced multiple vehicles off the road while running several stop signs, driving through the emergency lane, all while the car’s speed exceeded 100 mph, the report said.

Unicoi County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Troopers with the Tennessee Highway Patrol joined the chase as the Cruz switched direction back toward Johnson City. Officers with the Johnson City Police Department staged spike strips on exit 24 as the Cruz approached.

The deputy ended his chase as the Cruz hit the spike trap, but Dixon continued down the wrong lane of the interstate, losing control of the vehicle near Exit 23. Deputies report that Dixon ran from the scene into a patch of woods below the interstate.

K-9 officers were unable to locate Dixon after the chase, and officials issued several warrants for his arrest including felony evading arrest, reckless driving, reckless endangerment, aggravated assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon.

Check back for more updates to this story as they become available.

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