A high-speed police chase ended peacefully when Mt. Juliet police used a spike strip system to disable the fleeing vehicle on Interstate 40 early Thursday morning.
The pursuit began in Mt. Juliet around 7:15 a.m. on I-40 westbound when an officer attempted to pull a driver over for what appeared to be traffic violation, according to Mt. Juliet Police spokesperson Sgt. Tyler Chandler.
“The driver decided to flee from police,” said Chandler. “The pursuit crossed over into Metro Nashville, and the driver exited the Old Hickory Boulevard off ramp.”
The car proceeded to the Central Pike exit, turned around and got back on I-40 toward Mt. Juliet, said Chandler.
“Officer Kris Elliott was ready and deployed a spike strip near the 223-mile marker,” said Chandler.
He said the officer decided he could safely deploy the spike strip because traffic was light and the fleeing vehicle was outpacing traffic with police in pursuit.
The spike strip deflated the driver’s side front tire, the vehicle was immobilized and came to rest near the 226-mile marker, said Chandler.
“Once stopped, there was a peaceful end,” said Chandler.
He said a man was driving the car with a woman passenger. Chandler believed the woman may have outstanding warrants from another county.
He said there were no drugs in the car.
Both were arrested. According to Wilson County Sheriff’s Office booking information, the driver, Edward Lee Judkins, 51, of Smithville, was charged with evading and reckless endangerment. The passenger, Candida Driver, 41, of Smithville, was arrested on existing warrants for evading and failure to appear in court out of DeKalb County. Chandler said in addition, Driver attempted to conceal a baggy of marijuana, which was discovered by medical personnel. She was charged with simple possession of a schedule VI drug. Both were taken to the Wilson County Jail and are scheduled to appear in court May 13.
“Though it was high-speed, this was a clean-cut pursuit with no real danger,” said Chandler.
Chandler said all officers carry spike systems in their patrol cars so “they can quickly terminate a pursuit.”