NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Shortly before 6 a.m. Saturday, a vehicle led the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Department on a chase after a deputy attempted to make a traffic stop.
Nacogdoches County Sheriff Thomas Kerss said he cannot say for certain why the suspect fled. However, Kerss said the chase started on Stallings Drive near Highway 7 West when a deputy observed a passenger throwing objects out of a car window. Immediately after the deputy turned his light on to make the traffic stop, the vehicle fled from officers. Kerss said the driver, Dennis Thomas, had alcohol in the vehicle and he was believed to be intoxicated. Kerss also said Thomas had a parole revocation warrant out for his arrest.
"It was a good observation on the officer's part to detect his erratic behavior," said Kerss.
Thomas began fleeing northbound on the Loop for a couple of miles when he turned around and began driving southbound in the northbound traffic lanes. At one point, Kerss said Thomas attempted to hit the deputy's car, but he was not successful. The chase ended on the south Loop near the Lufkin exit when Thomas lost control of his vehicle as he tried to cross the median to get to the southbound lanes.
"We regret the fact that the suspect elected to run, certainly we're glad he didn't endanger anyone else's life especially given the fact he chose to drive in the wrong direction," said Kerss.
Thomas and his female passenger were taken to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital. Thomas was treated and released and taken to the Nacogdoches County Jail. The passenger is still in the Hospital as of Saturday afternoon. Sheriff Kerss said she sustained quite a few injuries.
"I am thankful we got a driver of this nature off the road," said Kerss.
Thomas is charged with evading arrest in a vehicle (a felony,) revocation of his parole warrant, and intoxication assault because of the injuries his passenger sustained. Kerss said they are all prison sentences and if convicted, Thomas could face up to five years in prison for each charge.