Cookeville police have released their report on the high-speed chase that ended with the death of a Rock Island man after his car plunged into the Caney Fork River.
The driver in the chase, Michael A. Boyd, 29, died when his car plunged into the river near the Putnam-Smith County line Jan. 30.
According to the press release from Cookeville Police Department, a Cookeville patrolman saw Boyd make a sudden swerve as he traveled in his 1991 Toyota Corolla on South Jefferson Street toward the on-ramp to Interstate 40.
“Instead of stopping his car, the driver continued by accelerating his car’s speed,” the official report reads. “Based on the driving behavior he witnessed, the officer believed the driver might be impaired or under the influence.”
The officer began pursuing the suspect with his lights and siren going until they had just passed the visitor center on I-40 at Buffalo Valley.
“The pursued car traveled onto the shoulder of the interstate to pass a semi-truck,” the report reads. “As the car attempted to re-enter the highway, the driver lost control of the car and traveled off the highway.”
The initial officer, along with others who had joined the chase, stopped and watched as the car drove a considerable distance through an open area before plunging into the Caney Fork River.
“Officers ran toward the river bank but were unable to attempt any rescue as the water level was high and the current too strong,” the report revealed. “The car was carried downstream and sank in the river.”
The car was recovered about six hours after the chase, which began just after midnight. Boyd was still in the car when it was pulled from the river.
The reason for Boyd’s attempt to evade the traffic stop may never be known.