VIDEO: Deputy flips patrol car during car chase - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

VIDEO: Deputy flips patrol car during car chase

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A Bradley County deputy is back on the job after flipping his patrol car during a high-speed pursuit last week.

Deputy Michael Lee was wearing a seat belt, and returned to work the next day.

Sheriff Eric Watson tells Channel 3, the crash happened while the deputy was following a speeding driver. An ambulance took Lee to the hospital, where he was released that same day.

Nearby surveillance video captures the patrol car rolling over during a high-speed pursuit last week.

"It was Wacker that called us and said, hey, we have all that on video," Watson said.

According to the crash report, Deputy Michael Lee was on Old Lower River Road in Charleston when he clocked a black BMW traveling 70 miles-per-hour. Near the sharp curve, the speed limit is 25.

"He turned around, got after him, basically went around the curve and dropped off in the ditch," Watson explained.

The video shows the patrol car was trailing the speeding car by about 14 seconds when it flipped, one time. The driver in the black car never stopped, and got away.

The crash happened last Monday. It took about a standard week to process the report.

Lee was transported to Tennova Hospital in Cleveland, where he was tested for both drugs and alcohol, mandated by department policy.

The crash report shows speed and slippery conditions contributed to the rollover.

Watson calls the stretch of curvy road where the crash happened "dangerous" and said speeding is a known problem.

Lee did not receive any disciplinary action, and was back at work the next day.

"It's a catch 22, because people want these speeders caught and stuff," Watson said. "When you pass somebody doing a high rate of speed, you turn around, and they already have an advantage on you to catch up to them, especially doing 70 on a little road like that."

The sheriff's office says the vehicle sustained significant damage in the wreck, but it's too early to tell if it was completely totaled.

Deputy Lee is Sheriff Watson's brother-in-law, but Watson said the situation was handled by the book -- family member or not.

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