Deputy struck during I-55 pursuit which came through Batesville
By David Howell
North Mississippi Herald Editor
OAKLAND – A 52-mile police pursuit on I-55 that started in Desoto County ended with a multi-car pileup at the Oakland exit Saturday night after a high-speed trip through Tate and Panola counties. One person was injured in the incident and a Memphis man was charged with six counts of aggravated assault, one count of aggravated assault on a police officer and one count of possession of a stolen vehicle according to Yalobusha County Sheriff Lance Humphreys.
Multiple agencies were involved in the pursuit that started when officers with the Hernando Police Department tried to stop the stolen vehicle after a license tag reader at the state line alerted authorities of the stolen car. Humphreys said that units from Senatobia and Sardis police departments and Panola County deputies also joined the southbound chase on I-55 that ended when the driver of the stolen car, Martavius Davis, tried to drive between two cars on the interstate, striking both of them.
A Yalobusha County deputy who was inside his parked vehicle on the side of the interstate was struck during the four-car collision. Humphreys said deputy Thomas West had pulled over to see if he had time to deploy stop sticks when Davis struck the vehicles, catapulting a BMW into West’s Chevrolet Tahoe.
“Thomas actually saw the wreck and the car coming toward him, he was able to back up just before the impact and minimize damage,” Humphreys explained. “He was very lucky and was not injured.”
The driver of the BMW was treated at the scene by a Yalobusha County deputy, who is also a trained paramedic, until a medevac helicopter landed on the interstate to transport the injured man. As of Sunday night the man remained in the trauma unit at The Med in Memphis.
Davis, age 23, is currently in custody in the Yalobusha County Detention Center. Humphreys said he had a previous arrest history that included a conviction for armed robbery.