Man leads DPS trooper on high speed chase, crashes, flees into Upshur County lake

Man leads DPS trooper on high speed chase, crashes, flees into Upshur County lake
Daniel Eugene Smith

UPSHUR COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A Longview man fled two different law enforcement officers, first in Gregg County, and then in Upshur County, before being captured.

Daniel Eugene Smith, 47, has been indicted by an Upshur County Grand Jury, and an enhancement was filed by the State of Texas on April 2 due to his previous arrests.

District Attorney Billy Byrd says that on January 25, 2019, at approximately 11:25 p.m., Longview Police tried to pull over a vehicle driven by Smith for a traffic violation but Smith would not pull over. Longview police did not pursue but put a “be on the lookout” notice to other area agencies.

Longview DPS Trooper Justin Craig was on patrol in Gregg County at the time, and heard the radio traffic. While Craig was on Highway 259 in Gregg County, he saw Smith’s vehicle pass him at high speed and without a working head light.

Smith’s vehicle was clocked traveling 106 mph in a 50 mph zone. Trooper Craig did a U-turn to catch the him. He said Smith was all over the road and would not pull over for the trooper. Ultimately, the pursuit went into Upshur County. Smith fled into the Union Grove Community on Highway 271 and wrecked his vehicle. He then jumped out and fled on foot.

Trooper Craig pursued the suspect into the woods, where he said he saw Smith jump into a lake to swim away.

The defendant had been sentenced to prison in 1991 and 2003 out of Harrison County for Burglaries, the DA says. This increased the minimum punishment to 25 years to life in prison.

No word yet on when his trial will be underway.

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