TAYLOR COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – What began as a simple traffic stop cascaded into a high-speed chase that ended in a fiery collision just north of Abilene on Highway 277. Multiple injuries and one death occurred after the driver attempted to avoid a spike strip.
“I mean I feel like it’s just reckless, reckless,” said witness Brandon Alexander.
Alexander and his friends were headed into their CDL class out on Highway 277 when the chase came roaring by. Stopping to watch, Alexander had no idea he was about to capture the final moments of the chase on his phone.
The driver, 22-year old Jacobe Jabar Johnson, and his passenger, 27-year old Aaron Earl Rattler, were fleeing law enforcement officers that pulled them over in Tye for speeding. After bringing the chase through Abilene, they were flying down the northbound lane of 277, then stopping to make a risky turn around.
“All we hear is this car flying by pushing the gas and I hear police sirens behind him… I’m like, ‘Oh he’s coming back.’ Pull my phone back out he pulls out with the spikes,” Alexander recalled.
As Johnson tore down 277 now southbound, Law enforcement officers deployed a spike strip. In attempt to avoid the strip, Johnson veered into the median and ultimately lost control and crashed head on into a northbound truck.
“He took a speeding violation and turned it into multiple felonies and other things that might be coming,” said Texas Department of Public Safety Officer Sergeant Marc Couch.
Johnson was apprehended while trying to flee his vehicle. His passenger, Rattler was later pronounced deceased at Hendrick Medical Center. The occupants of the truck that collided with them were also taken to Hendrick to be treated for their injuries.
“Obviously he had no regard for these peoples lives,” said Alexander.
“At the end of the day, if he’d have just pulled over he was gonna get a speeding ticket,” Couch shared.
Johnson is being held in the Jones County Jail charged with evading arrest or detention in a vehicle, which is a felony offense. Couch said he will no doubt be charged with additional crimes as they are revealed in the investigation.