Christopher Matthew Meeks, 22, of Chiggertown Loop in Palmer, is being held without bond at the Sequatchie County Justice Center on charges there, according to authorities. More charges await Meeks when he returns to Marion County.
He faces multiple felony counts in both counties after carjacking a woman and leading a officers on a chase that lasted over 30 miles, beginning in Jasper. The chase ended in a crash with two police cars in Sequatchie County on Cagle Mountain.
Marion County Sheriff Ronnie “Bo” Burnett said the chase started around 3 a.m. CDT Sunday near Jasper.
After Meeks allegedly carjacked a woman’s car while she was still inside, he saw a Marion County deputy, got nervous and “started to drive erratically,” attracting the deputy’s attention. Meeks then fled north on East Valley Road across the Sequatchie County line with officers in pursuit, Marion County Chief Deputy Billy Powell said.
In Sequatchie County, Meeks turned toward Chattanooga on State Route 111 then turned around and headed the other direction, passing through the town of Dunlap and up Cagle Mountain on 111, Powell said.
Powell said Meeks continued toward the intersection with State Route 399 on Cagle Mountain when Marion, Sequatchie and Dunlap patrol cars began to close in. Meeks crashed into two patrol cars before he jumped out and ran before being captured.
The carjacking victim jumped out of the car while it was moving slowly, Powell said, although he wasn’t able to say when that happened. She was uninjured.
In Sequatchie County, the Tennessee Highway Patrol investigated the crash between Meeks and the patrol cars, according to THP spokesman Sgt. Alan Bailey. The Highway Patrol charged Meeks with DUI, vandalism and reckless endangerment, Bailey said.
“He’s being held at the Sequatchie County Jail pending a court appearance Thursday,” Sequatchie County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jason Harvey said.
Powell said Marion officers will file charges when Meeks’ cases in Sequatchie are disposed of. When Meeks returns to Marion, those charges will include carjacking, evading arrest, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, vandalism of $1,000-$10,000, speeding, driving on a revoked license and failure to show due care.
Powell said Meeks had prior warrants for his arrest on charges of violation of probation, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, evading arrest and assault on an officer.
Powell said he was glad no one was injured in the incident.