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Driver in Hawkins pursuit wreck facing 23 charges, remains at-large

Jeff Bobo • Apr 26, 2018 at 1:49 PM

CHURCH HILL — A Kingsport man who walked away from the hospital following a Sunday high-speed chase involving meth and a gun remained at large Thursday wanted on 23 charges including nine felonies.

Shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday, Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Michael Draine reportedly observed a 2006 Honda Element traveling 72 mph in a 55 mph zone on Highway 11-W near Church Hill.

The driver was later identified as Daniel Shawn Skeens, 19, of Kingsport.

Draine stated in his report that when he attempted to conduct a traffic stop, Skeens turned north onto Cross Valley Road in an attempt to evade him and then turned east on Carters Valley Road.

“Skeens was operating his vehicle at a high rate of speed reaching 100 mph, along with failure to maintain his lane of travel and passing other motorists on double yellow (no passing zone) during the pursuit,” Draine said.

Skeens was allegedly observed throwing a handgun from the driver’s side of the vehicle. The weapon was later found alongside Carters Valley Road.

Skeens failed to negotiate a curve near the Fairview Lane intersection and crashed into a guardrail, causing the Honda to roll over, injuring two other occupants along with himself.

Skeens was transported to Holston Valley Medical Center for treatment. Draine said Skeens appeared to be under the influence, consented to a blood test to determine toxicology and allegedly admitted to using meth and marijuana shortly before the crash.

During an inventory of the Honda, authorities reportedly found a plastic bag containing a crystal, rock-type substance, an orange tablet, digital scales and several empty, small plastic bags. 

The handgun that Skeens allegedly tossed from the vehicle was identified as a Taurus 9mm and was reportedly confirmed to be stolen out of Elizabethton.

Skeens has a felony burglary conviction in Tampa, Fla., in 2016.

While in the hospital, Skeens was notified of active warrants stemming from an arrest in Kingsport in October for possession of Schedule II narcotics with intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia and gun possession.

Skeens later fled the hospital before the warrants were served, and as of Thursday remains at large.

Among the new charges Skeens is facing related to Sunday’s chase and wreck are: felony escape, felony evading arrest, three counts of felony reckless endangerment, vehicular assault, possession of meth for resale, simple possession of Schedule II narcotics, possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of stolen property, possession of drug paraphernalia, DUI, driving on a suspended license, reckless driving and nine other traffic charges.

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