• 52°

Kingsport man arrested after high-speed chase

A man from Kingsport, Tenn., was arrested after an alleged high-speed chase led officers from Harlan to Whitesburg and back.

Zachary Lockhart, 26, was arrested by Harlan City Police Department officer George Young on Wednesday. According to the citation, Young responded to a collision at the intersection of U.S. 421 and KY 38 at approximately 1 p.m. After checking on those involved, witnesses told Young the suspect allegedly fled after striking the vehicle in front of him, which pushed the car in front of the SUV Lockhart hit four to six feet from its original position.

A witness also showed Young a picture of Lockhart hanging out of the window of his truck to assess the wreck. The witness gave Young a picture of the license plate, which Young used to set out a BOLO for the 1999 black Dodge truck.

“The impact was so loud, the people eating outside at the Huddle House heard it,” Young said. “Two women had to be taken to the hospital to be treated for back and neck injuries.”

Lockhart was allegedly seen driving through Cumberland when Cumberland Police Department officers began the pursuit and were eventually joined by multiple other agencies.

Lockhart led police across Whitesburg mountain, through the city of Whitesburg and back across to Harlan. During the high-speed chase, Harlan City Police Department Chief Winston “Wink” Yeary said Lockhart allegedly kept pointing at police with his hand in the shape of a gun.

Yeary said Letcher County Sheriff’s Office deputies placed stop strips across the road to flatten the tires of Lockhart’s truck and get him to stop. After hitting the strip, Lockhart allegedly kept driving after going off the road and back on again.

Yeary said officers began boxing in Lockhart’s truck when Lockhart rammed the back of Cumberland Police Department officer Tyler Hensley’s vehicle. He allegedly continued to sideswipe both Yeary’s vehicle and a Letcher County Sheriff’s Office vehicle.

Lockhart was eventually apprehended by Young and taken to Harlan ARH, where he submitted for a drug test. Yeary said multiple things were found in his truck, including two syringes and a book by Lockhart titled “Dangerous Zack Stories.” The book contains multiple illustrations of high-speed chases, killing of police officers and other gruesome acts.

“This guy was completely reckless and methed up,” Yeary said.

Young added, “If it hadn’t been for the awareness of our citizens, he would’ve gotten away, which would’ve been sad. I guess everyone was in a state of shock when he looked out the window and took off.”

Lockhart was charged with first-degree fleeing or evading police (motor vehicle), first-degree wanton endangerment (police officer), first-degree criminal mischief, second-degree assault, leaving the scene of an accident/failure to render aid/assistance, operation of motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs/alcohol, failure to wear seat belts, failure to maintain required insurance and reckless driving.

Lockhart was lodged in the Harlan County Detention Center on a $20,000 full-cash bond.

Members of the Whitesburg Police Department and Kentucky State Police posts 10 and 13 also assisted in the chase.