KPD: Man wrecks while fleeing police with child in car

Rain Smith • Jul 29, 2013 at 5:11 PM

KINGSPORT — A Kingsport man faces felony charges after allegedly crashing his car into a culvert while fleeing police — partially submerging his vehicle and tossing a young child from her car seat onto the floorboard.

An arrest report at the Kingsport Police Department says the incident began at 3:20 Saturday morning. On Stratford Road, a pair of officers were walking to their vehicles after attempting to serve a warrant at a residence.

Two vehicles were allegedly spotted speeding toward the officers, positioned at the intersection of Stratford and Summitt Drive. The vehicles were traveling an estimated 55 mph in the 35 mph zone.

One officer reports flashing a flashlight and motioning for the vehicles to stop, with the driver of a Ford Explorer complying with the order. Police say a 1992 Honda Civic, later learned to be driven by Steven Andrew Sexton, 23, stopped “only for a moment.”

As an officer approached the car, Sexton allegedly revved the engine, then crossed the double yellow line to illegally pass the Explorer.

One officer entered a patrol car and followed the Civic southbound on Stratford Road. The officer could see the taillights of Sexton’s car as he attempted to make a sharp left off of Stratford onto Ridgeline Drive, but crashed into a culvert.

Police say Sexton exited and ran from the car, which was tipped downward into the culvert with the front end submerged. Sexton was brought into custody following a brief foot pursuit, while his 23-year-old girlfriend and her small, “screaming” child were found in his crashed vehicle.

Police say the child came completely out of a child seat during the crash, tossing her onto the car’s floorboard. Both the toddler and the mother avoided injuries.

Sexton, of 3852 Eastline Drive, Apartment 109, was arrested at the scene. He’s charged with felony reckless endangerment, attempted aggravated child abuse, felony evading arrest, speeding, driving without insurance, driving on a suspended license, reckless driving, and passing on a double yellow line.

He was booked into the city jail, while the driver of the Ford Explorer was cited for speeding and released.

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