FORT PAYNE, Ala. - Multiple law enforcement agencies joined a pursuit that started in Fort Payne and crossed the state line into Georgia on Tuesday.
Fort Payne Police Chief Randy Bynum confirmed that it all started around 11:50 a.m. when a concerned citizen reported a suspicious truck at her neighbor's home on Valley View Ave. The neighbor told police a woman backed into the driveway and loaded something into the truck and drove away.
An officer spotted the vehicle and attempted to make a traffic stop, but the driver did not comply. Police say the driver headed north on Hwy 11 to outside the city limits.
Multiple agencies joined the chase that eventually ended when the vehicle struck a pole at the Dade County Courthouse square. Chief Bynum confirmed that Laura Leeann Wooten, 35 of Dekalb County, was taken into custody.
Chris Campbell says he was in his shop when it happened. "She lost control and tried to turn that curve to go around that square and one of the other officers diverted her and ran her down that street and she hit that pole so that's the only reason they got her stopped."
Pat Rose says he was on the square. "I heard a big commotion going on walked outside seen, seen smoke to my left, commotion going on"
WDEF reports that Major Tommy Bradford of the Dade County Sheriff's Department was injured in the chase. Authorities say that Bradford was attempting to lay down spike strips when the speeding vehicle hit him. Emergency crews treated Bradford at the scene before he was airlifted to Erlanger Health Center.
The Dade County Sheriff's Office says that as of Tuesday afternoon, Major Bradford is in critical condition and possibly facing surgery.
"Our Major selflessly put his life on the line to try to stop the vehicle, who was traveling in excess of 90 mph, from making it to downtown Trenton, and potentially harming an innocent bystander. Please continue to pray for him, his family, and our department."
The Times Free Press is reporting that the Dade County Emergency Services Director, Alex Case, told them Tuesday evening that Major Bradford lost his leg below the knee.
Police say more details will be released as the investigation continues.
A well-respected officer. That's how some people describe Dade County Deputy Chief Tommy Bradford. "He's a good person. Everybody in the town knows him."
Tuesday evening, a group gathered in Jenkins Park to pray for Dade County and Trenton law enforcement officers.
They were also taking donations for the Bradford family as Tommy was seriously injured while trying to stop a suspect in a police chase.
"Today he was a hero. Protecting the town. That's what he was doing, protecting the city. That's why he put those spikes out was to protect the city from a maniac basically driving through town."