Car thief launches stolen truck into the air

A young Louisiana man is in custody after leading police on a wild, high-speed chase in a stolen Toyota Tacoma on Tuesday. According to KSLA, Kevonte Dekorey Austin escaped from a work release program in Caddo Parish back in early February. On Mardi Gras day at around 1:30 pm, a sheriff's deputy in neighboring Webster Parish spotted a black Toyota Tacoma on Highway 371 that was reported stolen weeks earlier. The deputy stopped the truck and pulled the driver out of the cab for a chat. The passenger in the truck was Austin. Once the driver was out, Austin slid over to the driver's seat and sped off.

Austin fled north toward Springhill, LA, with the law in hot pursuit at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. Near Springhill, Austin made a quick u-turn to avoid an existing crash site on the highway, and sped south. Springhill Fire Chief Billy Raspberry was working the site of a separate crash on Highway 371 when the chase passed him. He told KTBS that Austin was moving at exceedingly high speeds.

"If you ask me he was doing 100 miles an hour," he said. "But when I saw him he was coming off the road, I bet he was coming off the road at 60, 65 miles an hour."

Deputies deployed spike strips just north of where Highway 371 crosses US Highway 80. Austin hit the spikes, lost control of the Tacoma, ramped up a berm at speed, caught about eight to ten feet of air, and landed on top of a Corolla parked at a nearby Restaurant. The Corolla's owner, Barbara Harlon, was sitting in the car at the time of the crash, but escaped unharmed.

"I felt around to see if I was hurt and could tell that I was okay," Harlon told KSLA. "God was with me."

Austin attempted to flee the scene on foot after his flight, but was quickly collared by deputies and booked on probation violation and car theft charges.

Related Video:

Share This Photo X