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Car thief hits cow in high speed chase
cow wreck
A car thief slammed into a cow as he fled police on Shellsford Road Sunday afternoon.

Charges have been leveled against a man who ran from police in a stolen SUV and then struck and killed a cow in a pasture off Shellsford Road late Sunday afternoon.
The man, Laureno Gudino-Morales, 24, was airlifted to Erlanger Medical Center in Chattanooga for treatment of serious injuries he sustained in the high-speed crash. Once released from treatment, he will be presented with warrants charging grand theft, evading arrest, and reckless endangerment.
The chain of events that led to the crash began around 4:30 p.m. when Morales reportedly stole a 2002 Nissan Xterra from gas pumps on New Smithville Highway. According to police reports, the owner had just pumped some gas into her car and had gone inside to pay for it. When she came back out, her Xterra was gone. She would later reveal she left her keys in the cup holder.
Police believe Morales was watching the victim and waited until she walked inside the store. He then seized his opportunity, jumped behind the wheel, and sped away.
An all-points bulletin was issued for the stolen SUV and police fell in behind the vehicle near the VFW on Sparta Highway.
“I pulled in behind the vehicle and it drove off the road and into the grass,” recalled police officer Marty Cantrell. “It started to spin in the grass and made it back onto the roadway.”
The chase was on from there as Morales led the officer away from town on Sparta Highway until he turned on Crain Road. The fugitive wound his way around until he got to Shellsford Road where he opened up the engine of the stolen vehicle.
“I followed the vehicle onto Shellsford Road where the vehicle speed was approaching 100 mph,” said Cantrell, noting he discontinued pursuit so not to endanger the public.
While police had stopped the chase, the car thief was still trying to evade capture. However, in doing so, he ran upon sheriff’s deputies who were coming from the other direction. He swerved from the deputy in an attempt to get away, but in doing so left Shellsford Road.
The stolen vehicle then went airborne and cleared a fence before touching down and hitting a cow in the pasture. The impact with the heavy animal caused the vehicle to roll over, leaving the car thief with serious injuries. The cow was killed by the impact.