Webster Parish, Louisiana – A pursuit of a stolen pickup ended when the truck launched over an embankment, going airborne.
At around 1:30 PM on Tuesday, a Webster Parish deputy stopped a Toyota Tacoma for speeding on Highway 371. While the driver of the vehicle was out of the truck, speaking with the deputy, passenger Kavonte Austin slid into the driver’s seat and sped off.
Austin then led police on a pursuit at speeds up to 115 MPH. Deputies set up spike strips and were successfully able to spike the Toyota’s tires. A bystander apparently saw the police setting up the spike strips and waited nearby to take video.
On video, you can see that Kavonta Austin lost control of the pickup after hitting the spike strips. The Toyota went off the road, up an embankment, and went flying. You can see the video here: https://youtube.com/watch?v=0lcJKymjOSE The pickup landed on a Corolla parked at a nearby restaurant. Barbara Harlon was in the Corolla at the time it was crushed by the pickup, but thankfully she escaped uninjured.
Kavonta Austin was taken into custody after the collision. It appears that he fled because he was wanted for a probation violation. Austin is now in jail for the vehicle theft and his probation violation.
Around the nation, police departments are being pressured not to pursue suspects for property crimes. Do you think that officers should have pursued Austin? We’d like to know what you think. Please let us know in the comments below.