Fatal police chase driver faces multiple felonies
Published 8:39 am Friday, May 29, 2015
A North Carolina man faces multiple felony charges, including homicide, after a police pursuit turned deadly last week.
Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Edward Tester arrested Robert Allan Cook, 23, of Elk Park, N.C., on warrants charging him with vehicular homicide, evading arrest by motor vehicle, felony reckless endangerment, theft over $10,000 and driving on a suspended license.
On May 20, officers of the Avery County, N.C., Sheriff’s Department pursued a reported stolen Honda Pilot from Avery County into Roan Mountain. Cook was driving the SUV, and a 17-year-old boy was his passenger. Avery County officers told Tester they tried to stop the vehicle but Cook continued to flee.
“Officers from North Carolina continued pursuit of the stolen vehicle into Carter County, where the vehicle drove on the wrong side of the roadway, reaching speeds over 100 miles per hour, crossing the center line at oncoming traffic while still failing to stop for their emergency equipment,” Tester said in warrants for Cook’s arrest.
Shortly before 9:30 p.m., Cook was driving the SUV on Crabtree Road in Roan Mountain when the crash happened. While trying to negotiate a curve, Cook lost control of the SUV, which went airborne and struck several trees, Tester said.
The 17-year-old passenger, whose name the THP has not released, was pronounced dead at the scene. Cook was extricated from the vehicle and flown by Wings Air Rescue to a local hospital for treatment.
Before Cook was taken to the hospital, Tester was able to speak to Cook and said Cook appeared to be under the influence of an intoxicant. Tester noted that several beer cans were found in the SUV.
On Thursday, THP Sgt. Jeff Anderson said further details about the accident are not being released at this time because the investigation is still ongoing and charges are pending.
Cook appeared Tuesday in Carter County General Sessions Court, where he was arraigned on all charges. He is next scheduled to appear in court on June 1 and remains held at the Carter County Detention Center under a $75,000 bond.