Criminal charges are pending in a mid-day chase and crash in Jonesborough involving former District Attorney General Joe Crumley, who was taken to the hospital because he appeared to be in “medical duress” about an hour after the chase that ran several cars off the road Wednesday afternoon, according to the town’s police chief.
Jonesborough Public Safety Chief Matt Hawkins said about 12:05 p.m. Wednesday an officer was nearly struck head-on in the 100 block of East Main Street when the driver of a Toyota Rav4, later identified in a Tennessee Highway Patrol crash report as Crumley, drove completely in his lane.
Crumley was westbound and the officer was driving east. The officer turned on his lights and siren and pursued Crumley.
Crumley refused to stop, continuing west at speeds ranging between 13 mph and 48 mph, according to Hawkins. The posted speed limit from the point the pursuit began to where it ended changes from 20 mph to at least 30 mph, Hawkins said.
The pursuit only lasted a brief period, but Hawkins said the officer saw Crumley veer into oncoming traffic, running vehicles off the road.
The pursuing officer called for backup, who arrived and pulled alongside Crumley and ordered him to stop. The backup officer then pulled in front of Crumley, bringing all three vehicles to a stop on Tenn. Highway 81 South, near the area of Woodridge Road.
The Rav4 then lunged forward and struck the rear of the backup cruiser. Only minimal damage was caused by the impact and no one was hurt, Hawkins said.
Hawkins said Crumley was speaking on a cell phone and was reaching into the center console of his vehicle when the officers tried to remove him from his car. He reportedly refused to get out of his car. He was then removed from the car and taken into custody, Hawkins said.
The pursuit ended at 12:11 p.m., according to Hawkins. At 1:08 p.m. an officer saw that Crumley appeared to be in medical duress, so he was taken to Johnson City Medical Center by emergency medical personnel.
According to Hawkins, the THP is investigating the crash and his department is investigating all other aspects of the incident.
Hawkins said criminal charges were pending.
Crumley, 58, lives in Jonesborough. He served a single term as 1st Judicial district attorney general from 1998-2006. He was defeated in his re-election bid by Tony Clark in the 2006 election.