Tennessee Highway Patrol cruiser struck by fleeing drug-impaired driver
On December 7, Tennessee Highway Patrol Interdiction Plus (IP) Troopers Kevin Stroup and Ryan Fletcher were observing traffic on I-40 in Knox County, when a citizen stopped to report a reckless driver that was passing their location. The two troopers pulled onto the interstate to observe the vehicle. The driver exited the roadway onto the left shoulder multiple times and repeatedly swerved in the roadway. The troopers activated their emergency equipment as they attempted to stop the vehicle. The driver refused to pull over and continued driving in a reckless manner.
The driver then exited the left side of the roadway and stopped briefly in the grass median. The driver then pulled out from the median attempting to flee law enforcement. The fleeing driver then drove his vehicle toward Trooper Stroup’s patrol vehicle, striking the front of it. After being struck by the fleeing driver, Trooper Stroup made a split decision to utilize his patrol vehicle to disable the suspect’s vehicle which would prevent the driver from further endangering the motoring public.
Troopers gained access into the vehicle and assessed the condition of the driver, David W. Beach, 62 years of age from Knoxville, Tennessee who appeared to be having a medical issue. While awaiting EMS, Beach was in and out of consciousness. Troopers worked with Beach to keep him alert until he was transported to the hospital.
Beach’s condition was later determined to be drug-induced. When he was discharged from the hospital, Beach was booked in the Knox County Jail charged with DUI and felony evading. No injuries occurred during the encounter.
The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s mission is to serve, secure, and protect the people of Tennessee.