Police chase survivor gets out of hospital, goes to jail
By Jim Balloch knoxnews.com
LOUDON — The lone survivor of a crash during an early morning pursuit by two police cruisers has been released from a hospital and jailed on burglary and theft charges.
The Loudon Police Department on Friday released footage of the Tuesday morning pursuit from a video camera in one of two cruisers. On the video, an officer is heard, after the crash, reassuring one of the men in the truck that help is on the way and encouraging him to hang on.
Johnathan Monday, 34, Oak Ridge, was released on Thursday from the University of Tennessee Medical Center and then jailed.
Fatally injured when the pickup truck ran off Highway 72 about a half mile outside the city limits were the driver, Timothy Hardwick, 45, and passenger Travis Lay, 32, of Alcoa. Both were ejected when the truck left the right side of the road, rolled over and went down an embankment, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
All three have extensive criminal records. Loudon Police Chief James "Bear" Webb said Friday he has received inquiries about them from several area police agencies.
Officers John Yates and Sam Harrison sighted the truck in the vicinity of the Goodfella's tobacco and beer store, which had just been burglarized. It matched the description of a truck believed connected to an earlier similar burglary.
"This was not a high-speed chase," Webb said. "You can tell that on the video, by how fast the fixed objects (on the roadway) are going by."
Webb said he believes that the suspects' unfamiliarity with the road may have contributed to the crash. "That is a big, wide highway that suddenly narrows down."
Webb said Harrison's cruiser, which did not have a functioning video camera, was behind the truck when it turned into McDonald's, drove around, got back on the highway, then did not stop for blue lights.
Yates' video shows the suspect vehicle pulling out of the McDonald's lot, with the other cruiser behind it. Yates turned around and fell in behind Harrison.
According to an affidavit filed by Loudon Detective Brian Jenkins, the suspects had broken into the Goodfella's store and stolen more than $8,000 worth of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. Much of that merchandise was recovered at the scene of the wreck.