LaFollette man in custody following high-speed pursuit
From Staff Reports
A 38-year-old LaFollette man is in custody following a pursuit that began in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and ended in west Blount County Sunday morning, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s deputies picked up the pursuit of Brian Keith Ivey, which was initiated by rangers with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the Sugarlands area at approximately 10:50 a.m. Sunday morning. Sheriff’s officers picked up the pursuit at the Wye on Little River Road in Townsend at approximately 11:20 a.m.
Ivey, who was driving a 1993 Ford F150 pick-up truck, reached speeds in the 90-mile-per-hour range on East Lamar Alexander Parkway. Because of traffic conditions and the time of day, supervisors terminated the pursuit at one point, but Maryville Police officers witnessed Ivey continue to drive recklessly and almost hit two pedestrians once he reached city limits.
“Right when church was letting out, we monitoring his actions, but we did not engage his pursuit,” said Maryville Police Chief Tony Crisp. “He almost ran over some pedestrians, and he will have some charges against him.”
Because of the nature of the charges, as well as to protect the public’s safety, a decision was made to try and stop Ivey, the Sheriff’s Office said. The pursuit continued through Maryville and part of Alcoa, where Ivey rammed the front of a Sheriff’s Office cruiser on the U.S. 129 Bypass at Louisville Road. The Sheriff’s deputy in the cruiser was not injured.
Ivey then traveled south on the U.S. 129 Bypass, west on West Lamar Alexander Parkway, then south onto William Blount Drive and west onto Big Springs Road. Ivey turned onto a private gravel drive, and the pursuit ended when he crashed his vehicle in a field on Big Springs Road. Ivey was not injured.
The Sheriff’s Office and the National Park Service are collaborating. The investigation is ongoing.
Ivey is being held in the Blount County Detention Facility and is being charged with reckless endangerment, aggravated assault and felony evading arrest. There are also federal charges pending against him. No court date and bond amount have been set.