SURGOINSVILLE — A Hawkins County man who was allegedly traveling 85 in a 30 mph zone Wednesday, driving in the wrong lane shortly before nearby schools were dismissed, reportedly gave police an unusual excuse for his behavior.
Surgoinsville Police Department Chief James Hammonds reportedly observed Robert Lloyd Wright, 35, 201 Circle Drive, Rogersville, driving a 2001 Buick LeSabre east on Main Street when he passed a vehicle on the double-solid line near Highland Drive around 2:50 p.m. Wednesday.
When Hammonds activated his blue lights to initiate a traffic stop, Wright allegedly accelerated to 85 mph and passed two more vehicles on a double- solid line as they topped a blind hill on Main Street just east of Sandidge Hollow Road.
Wright then allegedly continued east in the westbound lane “passing another vehicle with disregard for any westbound traffic,” Hammond said.
“The vehicle then suddenly skidded to a stop on the 2500th block of Main Street and the male driver jumped from his vehicle,” Hammonds said.
Hammonds noted that five minutes after the pursuit ended, a school bus passed in the lane where Wright had been speeding 85 mph in the wrong lane.
“It was a very dangerous situation,” Hammonds said. “When you’re topping blind hills on the wrong side of the road doing 85 mph at almost 3 p.m. — five minutes later this could have been a whole different story.”
Wright’s story sounded like it came from a movie script.
“He said, ‘You stopped me from delivering the package, and now you’re going to get us both killed,’ ” Hammonds said. “He never did elaborate on that. I asked what kind of package, and he said ‘It’s a package I get paid for. I don’t know what’s in it.’ There was no package in the car.”
Hammonds added, “He said, ‘I picked the package up this morning, and I was supposed to meet a man with a suit and big glasses.’ He said, ‘I don’t ask what’s inside.’ He said, ‘I just get paid $500 to make the delivery.’ ”
Wright reportedly told Hammonds he tossed the package out of his car when he saw the police car. Hammonds said he never saw a package thrown from the car and surmised that the package might be a figment of Wright’s imagination.
Wright was charged with reckless driving, driving without a license, speeding, no insurance and failure to stop for blue lights. He is scheduled to appear in Sessions Court on Wednesday.