Two burglary suspects were killed and another injured after a chase and crash early Tuesday morning in Loudon County.
According to Loudon Police Department Sgt. Robert Scott Newman, the chase began as an officer was responding to a burglar alarm at a business on Hwy. 72.
There had been a smash and grab robbery at that same business, Good Fellas Tobacco and Beer Outlet, and another business, on Sunday morning. Officers were looking for a bronze Chevy pickup truck in connection with those crimes.
When the officer responding to the burglar alarm Tuesday morning spotted that pickup truck going in the opposite direction, he radioed it in, and two other officers began chasing that truck. The driver refused to pull over, and after a couple of miles, lost control and crashed.
The driver and a passenger, 45-year old Timothy Hardwick of Knoxville and 31-year old Travis Lay of Alcoa both died in the accident. Another passenger 34-year-old Johnathan Monday was transported to UT Medical Center. All three men have criminal records.
Sgt. Newman said that no charges are pending at this time.
Neither officer involved in the chase was injured, and the police chief reviewed their actions and determined they followed department policy.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol is still investigating the incident.
A University of Tennessee Center spokesman says who was injured in an early morning police chase is in stable condition.
Tennessee Highway Patrol has released the identities of the two people killed in an early morning crash.
45-year old Timothy Hardwick of Knoxville and 31-year old Travis Lay of Alcoa both died in the accident, according to THP. Troopers say 34-year old Johnathan Monday went to UT Medical Center because of his injuries.
The report says Hardwick was driving the car heading West on State Highway 72. He lost control of the car, flew off the road, and overturned down an embankment. Lay and Monday were passengers in the car.
Authorities have not said why they were chasing the car.
Tennessee Highway Patrol investigated a fatal car crash that started as a chase. That happened on State Highway 72 near Prospect Church Road in Loudon County. That's just west of I-75.
According to THP, Loudon police officers started chasing a car just before 1:30 Tuesday morning.
The car crashed killing two people and injuring another.
Emergency responders took the injured person to UT Medical Center. There's no word on the injuries or the patient's condition.
Troopers are not releasing how the car crashed or why the chase began.
THP did not release the names of the people who died in the crash.
They are still notifying family members.
Troopers say Highway 72 is now reopen.
Editor's note: Loudon police officers were involved in the chase. In a previous story we had reported it was Loudon County Sheriff's deputies. We apologize for any confusion.