2 Tenn. Cops Killed In Car Chase

A car fleeing police for several miles crashed Wednesday into two officers on Interstate 40, killing them as they tried to stop the speeding car with spikes, authorities said.

City Manager Ken Shearer said a passenger in the car also was killed, but Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe said the passenger had not been killed.

The driver and the passenger, both females, were taken by helicopter to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, hospital spokesman John Howser said. Howser refused to give their conditions.

Shearer said the driver of the Mercedes-Benz was critically injured.

The chase began after 9 a.m. with a report of a reckless vehicle, said Beth Tucker Womack, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Officers from Lebanon, Wilson County and Mount Juliet began pursuit when a check of the license plate indicated the vehicle might have been stolen in east Tennessee.

The two officers were struck while trying to use a spike strip to stop the Mercedes that other law enforcement officers had been chasing for about 30 minutes, Womack said.

"They were out of their car laying spike strips," she said. "The car veered to avoid the spike strips and struck the officers and a law enforcement vehicle."

The officers were from the Wilson County sheriff's department and the Mount Juliet police department, Womack said. Their names were not released pending notification of next of kin.