|Several injured in Sellersburg Police high speed pursuit|
Last Tuesday evening a high speed pursuit ended on County Road 403 in front of Jay C Food Store with several injuries including the alleged suspect. The pursuit began when Sellersburg Police received a 911 call at 7:10 p.m. The caller complained of a motorist driving erratically and making bad passes around Lakeside in Sellersburg.
Sellersburg Police Chief Russ Whelan had returned to the station after attending a Police Commissioners meeting. He had just told the dispatcher he was going home for the evening when the 911 call came in. Whelan left the station still listening to the dispatcher relaying information to officers in an attempt to lead them to the alleged erratic driver later identified as Adam Leland Moore, 29, of Shepherdsville, Kentucky.
“I went to my car. I was just listening to the communications. I drove down New Albany Street. I knew the caller was still behind the driver. They had passed Dairy Queen and turned right. The driver was going right through the middle of town driving erratically. He was passing in the turning lane. He was continuing his reckless driving,” Whelan explained. “I went behind the pizza place, I was still by the railroad tracks when dispatch said the caller had turned off. I seen what I believed was the driver. I observed him make some bad passes at the bridge. He had ran some cars off the right side of the roadway and was traveling at a high rate of speed. I hit the lights and sirens. I began to catch up to him at Ray’s (Lawn & Garden).”
Whelan continued, describing the pursuit, “I got right behind him at Salem Noble. I was traveling 80 mph and he was not slowing down. Then I noticed the window come down. He stuck out his left hand and, well, I don’t know what the politically correct way to say it, but he flipped me off. I have been involved in a lot of pursuits in my career and that was a first ever for me. He continued at a high rate of speed. Luckily it was light traffic. The next group of cars was at Stony Point and Bethany heading toward Charlestown. We were traveling north on 403. The vehicles were coming at us and at this point we are traveling 85 to 90 mph. Cars are getting off the roadway. He almost crashed then but didn’t, he got a little sideways but gained control again. Then speeds increased to 100 mph. I knew we were coming into Charlestown and the possibility of more vehicles because of all the businesses. I then backed off from him. At this point, he is traveling in the wrong lane. We are near Taco Bell heading toward the intersection of 403 and 160. He is still in the wrong lane but no cars are coming toward him.”
Moore then hit the first of two vehicles at the Taco Bell. The driver was attempting a left hand turn into the intersection at Taco Bell when the driver was struck by the 2010 Chevrolet Equinox driven by Moore.
“The lady was in the straight lane ready to make a left hand turn. She couldn’t see him or me or my lights. He hits her and the car goes off to the right. His car begins to flip and start rolling side-to-side, end-to-end. I immediately get on the radio calling 10-50 (accident). The car flips five or six times and he comes flying out of the moon roof. The sound of the impact sounded like an explosion. The car continued after he was ejected and hit another vehicle,” Whelan explained.
Once Moore was ejected from the vehicle, which later was found to be stolen from Radcliff, Kentucky, earlier on Tuesday (April 1), he started to get up. Whelan then turned his attention back to the suspect.
“I had to tackle him to get him back down on the roadway and get him cuffed,” Whelan added. “The very first thing he told me was he wasn’t the driver.”
Once Whelan had the suspect in custody, he began to focus on the others injured during the pursuit.
There were four other victims from the pursuit. The first vehicle Moore hit had one occupant. The driver was taken to University of Louisville Hospital with serious injuries. Whelan reported she had a severe head injury and broken arm but was alert and talking at the scene. The second vehicle hit was a van with three occupants. All three occupants were taken to Saint Catherine Regional Hospital with complaints of pain. Whelan did not have any updates on their conditions.
The suspect was also taken to University of Louisville Hospital.
“There was a blood sample taken at the scene. It has been sent to the lab and we are awaiting the results,” Whelan stated.
Due to him being taken to University, according to Whelan, legally he is not able to make him cross back over the bridge.
“I was thinking that he would be in the hospital a while, or it was a good possibility, due to major injuries. I thought Kentucky agencies would lock him up on his warrants out of Kentucky and that would give me time to get my paper work done for the extradition back to Indiana,” Whelan added. “Dispatch told Radcliff Police the suspect was heading to University and to check on his release. We all know now how that ended. I take that all on me, on this PD. We should of made sure one of the other agencies would be there when he was released and made them aware that we would not be there since we didn’t know when he would be released.”
Moore walked out of University at 3:53 a.m. on Wednesday after being treated for his injuries. Whelan was unaware Moore was released until later Wednesday morning when the Chief began working on the report.
“I called the next morning to get an update on his status. Then I was told he walked out at 3:53 a.m. I immediately got the information out to help find him including his picture. I said he walked out of University. Sometime later he checked into Norton’s Hospital in downtown Louisville. He checked into the hospital in the same clothes he left University in and one shoe. He was transported with just one shoe. He was again treated and released with no major injuries at all,” Whelan said.
Louisville Metro currently has Moore in custody for the Kentucky warrants. He has active warrants out of Jefferson County and a couple out of Bullitt County, according to Chief Whelan. The Jefferson County warrant is for Escape, 2nd Degree. Bullitt County warrants are for Disorderly Conduct and other traffic related offenses. All are misdemeanor warrants.
“Radcliff Police are still investigating to see if he is the actual person who stole the car. I sent them a picture and it did match the video they have,” Whelan said.
According to Whelan, the initial impact was at 107 mph according to the black box in the vehicle.
“The bad part of this whole thing, as in any pursuit, is the possibility of innocent people being hurt by someone with no regard to human life and safety and no regard for others. All pursuits are dangerous. In pursuits there is always that chance that innocent people may get hurt and that is exactly what happened that day. Unfortunately that day ended the exact way we don’t want them to, with innocent people getting hurt due to his stupidity. He is now in jail, exactly where he should be,” Whelan explained.
Moore is currently being held at Louisville Metro Corrections. He will be extradited back to Indiana to face more charges but Whelan is unsure when that will take place. Related to the pursuit on Tuesday, April 1, Moore is charged with Aggravated Battery, Class B Felony; Battery Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, Class C Felony; Battery with a Deadly Weapon, Class C Felony; Criminal Recklessness, Class D Felony; Resisting Law Enforcement, Class D Felony; Receiving Stolen Property, Class D Felony and Operating Never Licensed, Class A Misdemeanor. Assisting agencies included: Indiana State Police, Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Charlestown Police Department.
“Multiple agencies responded. Indiana State Police sent a trooper with a portable to cover our calls since our officers were on scene including the reconstruction team,” Whelan added.
The Reconstruction Team consisting of Sellersburg Police, Indiana State Police and Clark County Sheriff’s Office, officers were on scene to reconstruct the large accident scene stretching from Taco Bell to the intersection of 403 and County Road 160 in Charlestown.
“All agencies worked well together to get the investigation done and the road opened up as quickly as possible,” Whelan concluded.