Man Arrested After Chase In Morgan County; Two Deputy Vehicles Hit

SOMERVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – A Morgan County deputy went to the hospital after a suspect crashed into his and another deputy’s vehicles during a chase Thursday morning.

Investigators later learned the pick-up truck they chased for several miles was reported stolen Wednesday in Madison County, and items of the back of the truck were also stolen.

Police arrested 44-year-old Benton West, Jr., after he lost control of his vehicle on Apple Grove Road, about a block away from Union Hill School.

It started around 8:15 a.m. when a Morgan County deputy on routine patrol clocked West driving 75 miles per hour on Union Hill Road in Morgan City, where the speed limit is 45.

Morgan County chief deputy Michael Corley said West sped away in an attempt to flee, and the deputy chased him as West made numerous turns on rural roads.

Other deputies joined the pursuit, and Corley said West intentionally collided with two of the vehicles, including rear-ending one of the deputies.

About a block after they passed Union Hill School, Corley said West lost control of his truck and crashed into a cactus garden in front of a house.

“There were several people at home here and this was a very loud knock at their door, but we don’t believe there’s any structural damage other than to steps or figurines that was in the yard so we’re fortunate,” Corley said.  A car at the home also sustained minor damage.

The homeowner’s daughter told WHNT News 19 her mother was shaken up, but okay.

Investigators from Madison County and Marshall County also came to the scene and say that West may be tied to other cases in their jurisdictions.

Corley said there may be charges much more serious than theft and attempting to elude.

“With the intent he had here and the avenues of escape he had rather than making contact [with deputy vehicles] … we feel like it is possible that attempted homicide would be in line here,” Corley said, but he said that decision will be made by the district attorney.

One of the Morgan County deputies who was hit complained of back pain, and went to Decatur General Hospital for evaluation and treatment.  He is expected to be okay.

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