Police chase ends in crash in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

An overnight GSMNP police chase with one person in custody.

GATLINBURG, TN - Editors note: This article originally stated the driver of the silver Lexus was a potential suspect in a drive-by shooting in Oak Ridge, according to the Gatlinburg Police Department. The City of Oak Ridge issued a statement on Monday, Aug. 7, stating there were no reports of shots fired, nor was any physical evidence found to support any firearms being discharged.

A suspect is on the run after a police chase through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Saturday night.

The chase started around 8:44 p.m. Saturday.

Police say they noticed a silver Lexus GS400 almost hitting pedestrians in a marked crosswalk near the Light 3 intersection in Downtown Gatlinburg. An officer tried to stop the car near the Light 8 intersection but it fled onto Historic Nature Trail at fast speeds. 

The police pursuit was stopped there due to high volumes of pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

Gatlinburg officers and National Park Rangers set up a road block on Historic Nature Trail where they said the driver in the Lexus tried to run them over.

Officers started chasing the Lexus on Highway 321 but were unable to catch up to the car because it was going over 100 mph so they had to terminate the pursuit again to keep others safe. Police are looking for that suspect. 

According to the Gatlinburg Police Department, the Sevier County Sheriff's Office observed the Lexus traveling on Highway 416 but were unable to stop it. 

Officers believe the driver of a different vehicle, a red Chevy Cobalt is "in conspiracy" with the driver of the Lexus. The Cobalt fled the roadblock and crashed near the Rainbow Falls trailhead. The driver was taken into custody. A passenger in the Cobalt ran from the scene and is still at large. 

No names have been released. We will continue to update you online and on air. 

© 2017 WBIR.COM


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