JACKSONVILLE, Texas (KLTV) - A stolen big-rig, and an hours-long high speed chase across three counties and back, lands one East Texas man in jail.
John Ethyl Goodwin was booked into the Cherokee County Jail Friday morning on charges of evading arrest, unauthorized use of a vehicle, and possession of a controlled substance, with bond amounts totaling $30,000.
It started south of Jacksonville just before one this morning, where the driver of semi-truck led a small army of East Texas law enforcement officers on a chase through Cherokee, Rusk and Smith counties.
The stolen semi-truck was finally brought to a stop by multiple agencies near lake Jacksonville.
"It went into Jacksonville. One or two of my units joined in and Jacksonville got chasing him," said Cherokee county sheriff James Campbell.
The vehicle was stolen from a business in the small community of Dialville, south of Jacksonville. What the driver didn't know was the truck had a tracking device on it.
“There was a GPS hooked up on the truck that alerted them. He when all the way to Smith County and I understand to Rusk County, and back to Cherokee,” the sheriff says.
Deputies located the truck, and on initiating a stop, say the driver refused to pull over and the high-speed chase was on.
Several law enforcement vehicles suffered flat tires due to multiple attempts to stop the truck with spike strips.
"One of my units and one DPS unit, we each had a tire go flat. He ran through DPS spikes and Jacksonville," Campbell says.
Officers say the driver was roaring along highways in Smith, Rusk, and Cherokee counties.
By the time the driver turned in Smith County and headed back to Jacksonville, there were units from nine different agencies chasing him.
Driving on hubs, the chase ended near lake Jacksonville just after 3 a.m. Friday, where the driver was taken into custody.
“But it was an expensive joy ride for him,” says Campbell.
No officers were injured, Campbell said.
Sheriff Campbell said the man has been charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, evading arrest with a vehicle, and possession of a controlled substance.
He added that the suspect has not been arraigned yet.
According to sheriff’s office officials, law enforcement officers from Jacksonville, Henderson, Bullard, Smith County, the Texas Department of Public Safety, Whitehouse, Tyler, Cherokee County, and Rusk County all helped in trying to stop the truck.
Goodwin is still in the Cherokee County Jail as of Friday night.