A teen driver has escaped jail time but will be doing community service work for quite a while for nearly running over firemen and constables who were working an accident on Highway 55 Bypass.
The teen driver, Jeffery Logan Chandler, 18, entered guilty pleas to charges of evading arrest and driving on a suspended license. He was given a three-year judicial diversion, meaning his criminal record will be erased if he completes the three-year term without getting into further trouble with the law. He must also perform 100 hours public service work, pay $250 plus costs, maintain full-time employment and undergo a drug and alcohol assessment.
The teen was charged for trying to run through a roadblock at the scene of an accident on Highway 55.
According to Sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Vann, the teen failed to stop upon entering an area where emergency personnel were working a wreck. Vann said he was able to get his pickup stopped and had walked up to ask for the youth’s license when he saw an alcoholic beverage in the cab.
“The driver started backing up and then put the truck in drive. At a high rate of speed he began driving through the scene,” Vann recalled. “He placed constables and four firefighters in danger.”
Vann noted the firemen from Centertown Volunteer Fire Department were putting up their equipment when the teen sped through the accident scene.
Constable Jason Dodson gave pursuit after one of his fellow constables was nearly run over.
“He drove his truck through the accident site narrowly missing a tow truck and forcing Constable Norris to jump out of the way to keep from being run over,” Dodson said in his warrant against Chandler.
The youth was able to outrun the constable. However, both he and other lawmen were able to get his tag number. Dodson said he was able to positively identify Chandler as the driver of the vehicle.