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Stolen 18-wheeler chase ends in Lawrence County; driver faces multiple charges

Police said the driver rammed a patrol vehicle before driving into a field.

Posted: Dec 9, 2021 4:24 PM
Updated: Dec 9, 2021 6:04 PM

A vehicle chase involving a stolen 18-wheeler and multiple law enforcement agencies ended in a wreck and multiple criminal charges for the driver, authorities said Thursday.

The chase began in Morgan County on Wednesday, when drug agents from Morgan and Lawrence counties responded to drug-related complaints on Old Moulton Road in the Trinity area, according to Mike Swafford, public information officer for the Morgan County Sheriff's Office. While there, agents came across an 18-wheeler cab without a trailer that was later confirmed to be stolen out of Fultondale. 

Dustin Joshua Abbott

The driver refused to stop for police and instead led them on a chase into Lawrence County, striking a patrol vehicle along the way and eventually driving into a field off Lawrence County Road 87, Swafford said. The driver — identified as 32-year-old Dustin Joshua Abbott of Lexington, Kentucky — then barricaded himself in the vehicle.

"After a standoff, the individual ... was successfully removed from the vehicle after less lethal, clear-out gas was deployed," Swafford said. 

The Lawrence County Sheriff's Office said the deputy whose patrol vehicle was rammed was not injured. They also said Abbott is charged with first-degree receiving stolen property, second-degree assault, attempting to elude, criminal mischief and two counts of reckless endangerment. 

Abbott was previously arrested in April 2020 after the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office responded to a trespassing call at a residence in the Speake community. The sheriff's office said deputies found a truck that had been stolen from a Lauderdale County business earlier the same day and Abbott. 

Abbott was charged in that case with possession of drug paraphernalia, third-degree burglary, third-degree criminal trespassing and second-degree criminal mischief. He pleaded guilty in June 2021 to first-degree receiving stolen property and third-degree burglary but had his four-year sentence suspended pending completion of four years of probation. 

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