Dramatic crash caps chase involving Caddo Parish inmate

WEBSTER PARISH, LA (KSLA) – An 18-year-old is back in police custody after a chase and dramatic crash during which a pickup went airborne and landed on a car in Webster Parish.

It happened around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in Dixie Inn.

Kevonte Dekorey Austin, 18, an escaped work-release participant, was taken into custody.

Webster Sheriff Gary Sexton said the events began to unfold when a deputy pulled over the driver of a Toyota Tacoma speeding on U.S. Highway 371.

As the deputy spoke with the driver outside the pickup, the truck’s passenger slid into the driver’s seat and sped off.

Sheriff’s deputies chased Austin at speeds reaching 115 miles per hour. The chase took deputies to Springhill before heading south on Hwy. 371.

Austin lost control of the Tacoma when it hit spike strips deputies had set out at Hwy. 371 at U.S. Highway 80 north of Dixie Inn.

The pickup went airborne and landed on a car parked at a restaurant.

Barbara Harlon was in that vehicle and escaped unhurt by climbing out a passenger door.

“I felt around to see if I was hurt and could tell that I was okay,” Harlon said. “God was with me.”

Austin was employed at Halco Productions in Shreveport. He last was seen leaving the business Feb. 8.

Caddo Parish authorities suspect Austin stole an employee’s 2009 Ford Ranger.

Austin was in jail for car theft and a probation violation.

The Tacoma involved in the chase also had been reported stolen.

 

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