Headlight violation prompts 90 mph pursuit; Kingsport driver says he 'could not afford another ticket'

Rain Smith • Aug 27, 2009 at 12:00 AM

KINGSPORT — A simple attempted traffic stop for a busted headlight turned into a 90 mph pursuit in 45 mph zones in Kingsport.

According to the driver of the fleeing vehicle, he didn’t stop for police because he had been pulled over three times and “could not afford another ticket.”

An affidavit filed in court states the incident occurred Monday on Sullivan Gardens Parkway near Galemont Drive about 11:30 p.m. A Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office deputy was passed by a vehicle with one headlight out and pulled onto the road to attempt a traffic stop.

According to the deputy, the vehicle accelerated at a high rate of speed. He then paced the vehicle traveling more than 90 mph in a 45 mph zone. At the intersection of South John B. Dennis and South Wilcox Drive, the suspect ran a red light.

Shortly thereafter, on John B. Dennis near Moreland Drive, the suspect pulled over. The driver, Matthew Glen Piatt, 21, of 4900 Memorial Drive, said he did not have insurance for his vehicle.

When asked why he did not stop for the deputy, Piatt responded he had “been pulled over three times and could not afford another ticket,” according to the affidavit.

The court record did not state Piatt’s previous violations.

Piatt was charged with evading police, reckless driving, violation of headlights and traffic signals, driving uninsured and speeding. He was arrested and transported to the Sullivan County Jail.

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