18-wheeler leads police on 160-mile chase

March 28, 2009 4:52:25 PM PDT
The driver of an 18-wheeler is in jail Saturday night after police say he led them on a chase that spanned 160 miles. It started in the Katy area and ended two hours later in Seguin.[SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

A wrecked 18-wheeler with a couple of livestock in the back was all that was left after a chase stretching all the way from Harris County to the Guadalupe River in Seguin.

Around 2am, the trouble began in the Katy area, near Greenhouse and I-10.

"We got the phone call from a citizen who explained that she was involved in an accident with an 18-wheeler and he kept going. He didn't stop," said Asst. Chief Terry Thurman.

A Precinct 5 Deputy Constable responded to the call, spotted the truck driver heading the wrong way, pulled in behind him but he wasn't ready to cooperate.

"As the deputy was stepping out of his car, the 18-wheeler pulled forward then reversed, striking the officer's car. He again pulled forward and rammed the officer's car," said Thurman.

The truck driver, identified by law enforcement as James Dillon, took off westbound on I-10 followed by a number of law enforcement agencies, some of which laid down spikes. The front tires blew but that wasn't enough to stop him, as he swerved across lanes endangering other drivers. He didn't stop until he got to a construction zone near the Guadalupe River.

"Construction material under the river bridge disabled his truck. He tried to run on foot and basically ended up in the river. They were able to talk him out of the river and he was taken into custody," said Thurman.

By Saturday afternoon, the driver was already back in Harris County, headed to jail. A chase spanning so many miles is unusual and an 18-wheeler is tough to stop, but Thurman said letting the driver get away was just too dangerous an option.

"As erratic as he was driving, something had to be done. Somebody had to try and stop him before he injured some innocent people," said Thurman.

The driver faces a number of charges including felony evading and assault on a police officer.

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