LOXLEY, Ala. (AP) — A driver trying to elude a sheriff's deputy went the wrong way on a southwest Alabama highway on Monday and hit a second vehicle head-on, killing four people.
Baldwin County Sheriff Huey "Hoss" Mack told local news outlets a deputy tried to stop a vehicle for a traffic violation, setting off a chase around 1:30 p.m.
The unidentified vehicle the deputy was chasing exited Interstate 10 multiple times, reversing directions, before making a U-turn on the highway and going the wrong way in the westbound lanes. The deputy lost sight of the car as it went around a curve, only to later find it had crashed, Mack said.
All three people in the fleeing vehicle died after it collided with an SUV, rolled over and burned, Mack said. An SUV passenger was also killed, while its driver was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Mobile, the sheriff said, adding that he didn't know the condition of the driver.
No identities have been released. Mack said investigators didn't immediately know why the vehicle fled. Authorities have not said what the initial traffic violation was. He defended the decision by his deputy to give chase.
"Keep in mind, these people ran from us, so they're the ones that caused all this," Mack said by the side of the road, as detoured trucks growled by in the background. He said the chase proceeded at a relatively high speed, but didn't know how fast the suspects or the deputy were driving.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is investigating the case as a traffic homicide. Mack said his department and the Baldwin County district attorney are also investigating.