Interstate chase ends in Greenville with crash

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 30, 2004

A high-speed chase that began in Hope Hull ended at the 130 exit in Greenville with a crash. The chase began around 8 a.m. Thursday and led troopers on a wild chase into the Butler County. The chase began near Montgomery when troopers noticed a speeding U-Haul truck.

Alabama State Troopers attempted to stop John Paul Kennedy, 25, of Pensacola, for a speeding violation in a construction zone on Interstate 65 near Hope Hull. Kennedy refused to stop leading officers on a high-speed chase.

Department of Public Safety Spokeswoman Dorris Teague said troopers pursued Kennedy all the way into Butler County and Greenville.

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&uot;They attempted to stop him for a speeding violation in a construction zone near Hope Hull,&uot; said Teague. &uot;He refused to stop and they pursued him from there.&uot;

As Kennedy continued to speed down the interstate he became a greater threat to other motorists. Troopers then used extra measures to stop him.

&uot;The troopers then deployed spikes near the 130 mile marker in order to stop him,&uot; said Teague. &uot;It was there that the crash occurred.&uot;

Unfortunately, Kennedy did not go quietly. When Kennedy’s U-Haul truck crashed he struck James Thrower’s 1998 GMC truck. Thrower, who is a Greenville native, was not seriously injured.

Kennedy did receive injuries from the accident and was admitted to L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital.

One of those taking part in the pursuit was Butler County Sheriff Diane Harris.

She said when she heard the call of &uot;10-100&uot; that means high-speed chase, she and two units from the BCSO headed north on I-65.

&uot;We aided in setting up spikes in the road, but he got around those,&uot; she said.

&uot;At one point, I was right behind him and there were many law enforcement officers in my rear view mirror.&uot;

She said when they were fast approaching Greenville, a state trooper made it around Kennedy and set up the spikes near the rest area.

&uot;He tried to swerve to hit the state trooper and when he did, a trooper had deployed the spikes, and it caught one of his wheels on,&uot; she said.

&uot;He then lost control of the truck and crossed the median and flipped.&uot;

Harris said officers from different departments also crossed the median and approached the truck with guns drawn.

She said when the truck began to go out of control, she saw the pickup driven by Thrower and said she hoped they could get by without hitting the U-Haul, but it was not possible.

&uot;Mr. Thrower was very lucky because if he had been just a second or two faster, they would have likely hit head-on,&uot; she said.

&uot;I’m really surprised no one was killed in this incident.

Kennedy is one lucky human being.&uot;

More charges are forthcoming in this case.

Managing Editor Jay Thomas contributed to this report.