Kingsport motorcycle pursuit ends in fiery Hawkins crash

Rain Smith • Mar 12, 2019 at 2:18 PM

KINGSPORT — A man is hospitalized after allegedly fleeing Kingsport police at 100 mph on a motorcycle, then triggering a fiery crash with a pickup in Church Hill.

Nicholas Morris, 26, of Eastline Drive in Kingsport, faces criminal charges from multiple agencies including felony evading arrest and reckless endangerment. As of Tuesday afternoon, he had not been booked into jail due to treatment of his injuries at a local hospital.

According to records at the Kingsport Police Department, the incident began about 7:45 Monday morning. An officer advised that a Kawasaki motorcycle had been clocked at more than 100 mph on Stone Drive. Soon, a second officer spotted the suspect speeding westbound and approaching Interstate 26.

The rider, later identified as Morris, passed beneath the I-26 overpass, then was stopped by a red light at Union Street. The officer reports pulling behind Morris, activating emergency lights and exiting the patrol car.

When Morris spotted the officer approaching on foot, he allegedly accelerated away — between two stopped vehicles — and blasted through the intersection. No pursuit was initiated, but a BOLO (be on the lookout) was issued over police radio.

Shortly thereafter, a Church Hill police officer observed Morris westbound on 11-W and attempted a stop. According to Church Hill Police Department Chief Chad Mosley, Morris ignored the officer and sped away, using the shoulder to pass vehicles that were side by side.

According to a crash report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol, when Morris tried to exit Highway 11-W and take Goshen Valley Road, he struck the front of an eastbound Ford Ranger that was in the intersection and attempting to turn. Mosley said the collision ignited a fire that was extinguished by his pursuing officer.

Morris was transported to Holston Valley Medical Center by EMS. The driver of the pickup was not injured but netted charges of failure to have insurance and driving an unregistered vehicle.

Warrants for Morris have been obtained on several charges. Along with felony offenses related to the pursuit, he is additionally charged with not having a license plate on the motorcycle and failure to have insurance.

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