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Authorities say driver of U-Haul truck ‘played chicken’ with other motorists

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 1:22 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 19, 2021 at 7:20 PM CDT
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GROVETON, Texas (KTRE) - East Texas News has learned more about a police chase where a man in a U-Haul truck allegedly led officers on a pursuit through four Deep East Texas counties over the weekend.

Captain Alton Lenderman said Angelina County Deputies pulled over 43-year-old Ronny Davidson of Desoto, Texas, right outside Lufkin on State Highway 94 for defective equipment on the U-Haul he was driving.

“Deputies inquired the driver for his driver’s license,” Lenderman said. “He had a problem producing them. They asked him to step from the vehicle and he wouldn’t step from the vehicle. He put the vehicle in gear and left, and the pursuit endured.”

The pursuit headed toward Trinity County. Sheriff Woody Wallace said speed reached around 75 miles per hour.

“There were a lot of vehicles that he did try to play chicken with,” Wallace said. “I do know a couple times there were 18-wheeler that he was trying to force off the road.”

Authorities say Davidson also rammed into a Trinity County patrol unit.

“He hit our vehicle and then sideswiped us whenever they were kind of gaining speed,” Wallace said. “Deliberately, he ran into our patrol car.”

A person driving a U-Haul truck led authorities on a multi-county chase this weekend.
A person driving a U-Haul truck led authorities on a multi-county chase this weekend.(Trinity County Sheriff's Office)

From Trinity County, the pursuit went through Polk and Tyler Counties.

“He jumped the train tracks going into Corrigan and went on across US 59 and 287 without yielding to the stop sign,” Wallace said.

“The Tyler County units deployed spikes, which flatten the tires,” Lenderman said. “A short time after that, he stopped the vehicle. They did have to use a chemical agent to detain him. He was in possession of a small amount of marijuana. He had in his hand when he was stopped a stolen 9mm pistol.”

Authorities said no injuries were reported.

“I would have liked to have seen the vehicle stopped a lot sooner,” Wallace said. “Unfortunately, we were not able to get a unit out that had spikes that was ahead of him.”

Wallace said especially among rural departments, not every patrol unit has spike strips, and they can be deadly.

“You’re not going to be able to start 40-50 miles behind him, catch up to him and ahead of him,” he said. “He wouldn’t let vehicles beside him either. Anybody that tried to pass him, he would swerve his vehicle and try to run one off the road. It could have been a lot worse.”

“The department appreciates the assistance from all departments involved,” Lenderman said.

Authorities say as of now, nothing in the U-Haul truck back compartment appears to be stolen or criminal in nature.

Davidson remains in the Angelina County Jail, facing numerous charges in multiple counties such as but not limited to, Evading Arrest Detention with a Motor Vehicle, Possession of a Firearm by Felon, Criminal Mischief and Aggravated Assault Against Public Servant..

His bond has not been set just yet.

The Trinity County Sheriff’s Office has provided dashcam footage from the chase.

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