By Lynda Jones
A Houston County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) patrol vehicle landed in a ditch last week as Deputy William Gardner avoided a head-on collision with a stolen vehicle on US 287 South.
According to the Probable Cause Arrest Affidavit, the Trinity County Sheriff's Office (TCSO) reported a truck stolen from the Spitfire store in Pennington might be heading towards Crockett on US 287 Monday, Sept. 21.
Gardner was on patrol along US 287 South, looking for the stolen vehicle, in response to the TCSO report. According to the affidavit, Gardner had approached CR 4125, approximately 4.5 miles south of Crockett, when he observed a pick-up that appeared to be traveling at a high rate of speed and matched the TCSO description of the stolen vehicle.
"Several seconds later Deputy Gardner observed the vehicle enter the southbound lane, while still driving northbound, straight toward Deputy Gardner," the affidavit states. The vehicle allegedly continued traveling north and swerved at Deputy Gardner."
Gardner reportedly took evasive action to avoid a head-on collision with the truck, causing Gardner's patrol vehicle to land in a ditch.
"Deputy Gardner then managed to turn his vehicle around and pursue the suspect with his emergency lights and siren activated," according to the affidavit.
Gardner reportedly pursued the suspect 4.5 miles to Loop 304 in Crockett where responding officers blocked the road and apprehended the suspect.
The suspect was identified as Randolph Hollingsworth, 24, of Houston. He was charged with Evading Arrest or Detention, a State Jail Felony offense, and Aggravated Assault Against a Public Servant, a First Degree Felony Offense.
He was booked into the Houston County Jail.