Report: Hawkins Co. chase ends in crash causing blackout, SC man later arrested on golf cart

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Photo: Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office

HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – A South Carolina man was arrested in Hawkins County after deputies say he led authorities on a high-speed pursuit.

According to a report from the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office, the chase began on Monday at 10:14 p.m. on Highway 31 going towards Highway 11W.

The report says a 2003 Volvo was traveling at 57 mph in a 45 mph zone, prompting a deputy to attempt a traffic stop.

Deputies report the Volvo sped up even after blue lights and the siren were used. The report says the Volvo continued to increase its speed “up to around 120 mph.”

HCSO reports the vehicle was all over the roadway and driving in the opposite lane, almost entering the ditch.

The pursuit was terminated at Highway 31 and Beauty Salon Road.

Deputies were later informed that “multiple people heard a loud explosion and then the power went out in that location” where a vehicle had reportedly run a stop sign just seconds earlier.

The vehicle was found on McNally Lane across from Highway 31, where it had crashed into a utility pole.

EMS and the Tennessee Highway Patrol were called to the crash.

The driver, later identified as Joseph Matthew Lewis, had allegedly fled on foot.

The report says the plates on the Volvo stated it was a 2007 Isuzu and there was no insurance for the vehilce.

Deputies began searching the area and Greene County authorities were dispatched to assist with a K-9 unit.

HCSO reports the K-9 directed authorities towards Slate Hill Road where a deputy later found Lewis riding on a golf cart.

The deputy reported that Lewis, 40, of Spartanburg, SC, was covered in cuts.

Lewis would reportedly not answer if he was involved in the crash but said the golf cart had belonged to a campground.

He allegedly also gave a false name to investigators. When asked if he could provide the last four digits of his social security number, Lewis said, “I don’t know, it’s been a long day.”

Lewis was later positively identified. He was found to have a suspended license out of South Carolina for failure to pay fines and operating a vehicle while uninsured.

Lewis was transported to the Hawkins County Jail and charged with the following:

  • Speeding
  • Evading Arrest by Motor Vehicle
  • Failure to Stop for Blue Lights
  • Obedience to Traffic Control Device
  • Due Care
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident
  • Evading Arrest by Foot
  • Criminal Impersonation
  • Driving on a Suspended License
  • Violation of Financial Responsibility
  • Misuse of Registration
  • Theft over $1,000

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