Hazard, Ky. (WYMT) - Troopers with Kentucky State Police are asking for your help finding a man who escaped on foot following a high speed chase through Perry County Saturday morning. WYMT spent the afternoon with the trooper involved whose vehicle was struck by the suspect as well.
Trooper Matthew Gayheart says it all began as a routine traffic stop around 4:30AM Saturday while patrolling the streets of downtown Vicco, but that routine quickly revealed itself to be anything but.
“I noticed a late-model black Chevy S-10 with two male occupants. Neither one was wearing a seatbelt. I attempted a traffic stop for the traffic infraction, and that's when he began to flee from me,” Gayheart said.
Within seconds the chase was on. Gayheart says he pursued the vehicle at speeds up to 65 miles per hour down the windy streets of Perry County for about three and a half miles. They eventually reached a gravel road, where he says the situation escalated further.
“The vehicle actually spun out facing toward me. I attempted to box his vehicle in. He actually rammed the front of my vehicle to avoid apprehension,” Gayheart said.
The impact left a sizable mark, and then it was back to the chase leading down more windy roads. Eventually they turned onto Route 7 in the community of Fusonia, where Gayheart says the driver plowed through this electric fence.
“He abandoned the vehicle and a short foot pursuit ensued. We ran through an open field to the river where he went into the river,” he said.
He says it was at this point the driver got away. The passenger, who never left the vehicle, was cleared of any wrongdoing. The driver however is still on the run. Troopers are asking for anyone with information to help with the investigation. Troopers describe the man as white, in his late 30s or early 40s, with short hair and cleanly shaven.
Troopers say they are not releasing any information concerning the identity of the passenger, or what they may or may not have learned from that individual at this time.
Anyone with information concerning the identity of the driver or any related information can make an anonymous call to Kentucky State Police's Post 13. That phone number is (606)-435-6069.