Hixson couple narrowly miss getting hit by suspect during police chase
The Gillams were driving down Pitts Road on Saturday, when they had a close call with a suspect running from police. They captured the moments on their dash cam, that the suspect running from police almost hit their car head on.
Bill Gillam said he and his wife were out running errands on Saturday, driving on their normal route.
"In just a split second, I saw this vehicle at a high rate of speed coming right at me," said Gillam.
His dash camera caught the 1995 Honda Accord, and the moments when it barely misses hitting his SUV. He said he slammed on his brakes and swerved to the right.
"Had it looked like he was not... I was prepared to go off the road, but fortunately by a fraction of an inch we missed each other," said Gillam.
Within seconds he realized the driver who nearly hit him was on the run.
"About the time I saw the car, I heard the siren and that's when I saw the Chattanooga police unit in pursuit and I knew right then what was going on," said Gillam.
According to court documents, the driver of the Honda, Edward Durham, was wanted in connection to a shoplifting incident at the Burlington at Northgate Mall. An off duty officer tried to stop Durham, by trying to pull him from the vehicle.
Police said Durham accelerated the vehicle and the officer had to jump out of the way. Police chased Durham for 13 minutes.
It was along the way he had a close call with the Gillams, startling not only bill but his wife in the passenger seat.
"She gasped and it was just one of those Oh my Gosh moments," said Gillam.
Durham eventually crashed his car, and after a short chase on foot he was eventually taken into custody.
Durham faces a list of charges:
- Aggravated Assault on Police
- Felony Reckless Endangerment
- Theft of Property under $1,000
- Theft of Property over $2,500
- Resisting Arrest or Obstruction of Legal Process
- Reckless Driving
- Driving under the Influence -- Second Offense
- Driving on Revoked License for DUI
"You know I support the local law enforcement, those guys have a tough job, and if they felt like this guy had to be taken down, they did what they had to do," said Gillam.
Gillam said he's captured some pretty crazy things over the years on his dash cam, but this is definitely one of the most interesting.
"It's interesting you see a lot of the pursuits from the point of view of the patrol car, you know they're cutting corners and doing their thing and it looks kind of crazy, but you don't see too many shots of the actual head on encounter and just how quick you have to make a decision," said Gillam.
He also has it for his on personal protection.
"It's for my protection if I do get into an accident and it's not my fault and it's a finger point situation," said Gillam.
As for chase protocol a spokesperson with the Chattanooga Police Department sent Channel Three their policy.
Pursuit Driving is covered by OPS - 2 Pursuit Driving.
- Initiation of Pursuit
- Officers shall only initiate or become involved in a pursuit when there is reasonable suspicion, prior to the beginning of the pursuit, that the suspect has committed or is committing a violent and/or forcible felony. Initiation of a pursuit is authorized for these violent forcible felonies:
- Aggravated Assault
- Aggravated Kidnapping
- Child Sexual Assault
- Aggravated Arson