The sheriff’s department regrets to confirm that a person accused of vehicle theft has died as result of injuries sustained while attempting to evade law enforcement.
On September 5, 2018, Deputies Brandon Prewitt and Jonas Saunders responded to a Highway 511 residence after a “side-by-side” off-road vehicle was reported stolen. While at the residence, the owner of the stolen vehicle received information that it may be located in the Hemlock area.
Dep. Prewitt attempted to locate the vehicle in the Hemlock area, and Williamsburg officer Greg Rhodes searched the nearby Ballard Ford East area. Constable Ron “Bubba” Bowling had been providing extra patrol at the Ballard Ford boat ramp and observed a vehicle matching the description of the stolen side-by-side. When Officer Rhodes spotted it, the driver accelerated, lost control, flipped approximately three times and came to rest eight to 10 feet over an embankment.
The operator, Scott Crawford, 40, of Oneida, Tennessee, was flown to the University of Kentucky Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries on Sept. 7, 2018.
Around 6:30 p.m. September 4, 2018, Deputy Brian Hensley responded to the Black Diamond Road area outside of Corbin relating to complaints of a disturbance with possible shots fired.
Dep. Hensley made contact with a black Chrysler 300, which matched the description of a vehicle involved in the initial complaint. Upon attempting to conduct a traffic stop, the sedan accelerated, reaching speeds of 80 to 90 miles-per-hour in 35 and 25-mph zones.
The pursuit lasted for approximately three miles before the sedan slid into a driveway. Dep. Hensley held the driver, Justin C. Adams, 28, of Corbin, at gunpoint until Adams was taken into custody without further incident. In view within the vehicle were bullets. Concealed under the steering column was a Ruger .380 pistol.
Upon further investigation, a female stated that Adams twice used his vehicle to block her ability to leave a location along Black Diamond Road. The victim stated that Adams fired shots at her vehicle, which was occupied by her and a small child.
Adams was arrested and charged with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, with one count being wanton endangerment of a police officer. He was also charged with first-degree fleeing or evading police, reckless driving, fourth-degree assault, carrying a concealed weapon and driving with invalid registration plates.
Adams was lodged in the Whitley County Detention Center. Members of the Corbin Police Department and Kentucky State Police assisted Dep. Hensley in the investigation.