Tennessee Man Jailed After High Speed Chase On I-10 That Injured Two Florida Troopers

May 13, 2020

A Tennessee man is facing multiple felony charges in connection with a high speed chase Tuesday that sent two Florida Highway Patrol troopers to the hospital after their patrol cars crashed into each other.

John Thomas Puckett, 46, of Dresden, Tennessee, was charged with grand theft auto, felony fleeing and eluding, willful and wanton reckless driving, DUI property damage (drugs), DUI seriously bodily injury (drugs) and battery on an emergency medical care provider. He was booked into the Escambia County Jail without bond.

It happened near the I-10 COVID-19 checkpoint at the eastbound weigh station just inside Florida. At least one of the troopers had to be extricated from his vehicle by firefighters. Both troopers were seriously injured and transported to Sacred Heart Hospital where they are now listed in stable condition. One of the troopers was released Tuesday and the second was held overnight for observation.

FHP was notified by the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency that they where chasing a stolen Chevrolet pickup truck on I-10 and the pursuit was entering Florida. The chase quickly approached the COVID-19 checkpoint at the I-10 weigh station just inside Florida. Traffic at the checkpoint was allowed to proceed without stopping to minimize the risk to civilians the pursuit approached.

As a FHP sergeant attempted to join the chase, he collided with another trooper, FHP Lt. Robert Cannon said.

The stolen pickup continued eastbound and collided into the rear of a tractor-trailer near the Florida Welcome Center on I-10. Puckett attempted to flee on foot but was taken into custody without incident. He was transported to Sacred Heart Hospital for treatment before being released and booked into jail.

The driver of the tractor-trailer truck was not reported to be injured.

Cannon said the FHP pursuit policy takes into account the “totality of the circumstances” including road and traffic conditions as well as the offense. Troopers can pursue for known felonies, reckless driving, and impaired drivers, but they are required to call off the pursuit if conditions outweigh the dangers.

Cannon said Tuesday’s incident met the FHP criteria for an allowable pursuit.

Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.


8 Responses to “Tennessee Man Jailed After High Speed Chase On I-10 That Injured Two Florida Troopers”

  1. Me on February 22nd, 2022 10:13 pm

    He was driving a stolen truck .and I will agree he is a idiot but he is also my brother.

  2. Rasheed Jackson on May 14th, 2020 9:52 am

    @ Mickey Powell
    Yes, there is no SUV mentioned in this article, and I have no idea what “airreono” is unless you may have meant “iota”, which would make sense. I do agree, in my opinion, an SUV does not seem to be the best selection of a vehicle for law enforcement. They appear to have a higher center of gravity, which would make them unsafe, and based on their size and weight, it would appear they would consume an enormous amount of fuel. Not to mention the back seats are extremely uncomfortable.
    Of course, the driver’s comfort is what really matters. But what do I know they may be all the things an officer needs and safer than a regular car and if they are then that is what they should be driving.

  3. joe on May 13th, 2020 8:13 pm

    Mickey, what are you even talking about? Is there one SUV in this article?

  4. Billy Howard on May 13th, 2020 7:22 pm

    Everyone here seems more worried about the cars in the pi tures… all I care about is the Troppers getting well. Not knocking the other commentators but it doesn’t matter what vehicles are involved. Human life could of been list over this idiot…we can replace torn up vehicles but their families could never replace them. Just my thoughts here

  5. William Reynolds on May 13th, 2020 4:06 pm

    >>It says he was in a pickup. The pictures show two FHP vehicles and what looks like a Mustang.

    The pictures show TWO FHP vehicles. One photo of an unmarked trooper car and two photos of one marked vehicle.

  6. Mickey Powell on May 13th, 2020 8:01 am

    I stand to be corrected. This mini iPhone led me to my desk top. This wreck or that wreck, my feelings haven’t bulged one airreono. SUV’s are not designed for law inforcement. Nuff said. Thanks Mickey Powell

  7. Carlos E McGugin on May 13th, 2020 7:29 am

    It says he was in a pickup. The pictures show two FHP vehicles and what looks like a Mustang. Who was in the Mustang?

  8. Oversight on May 13th, 2020 6:02 am

    Quickly return him to Alabama for prosecution and prison, since they have original jurisdiction of his crimes. No need to spend additional taxpayers’ money feeding, housing and defending him here until after ‘bama is done with his sorry self.