A man is behind bars after a high speed chase through two counties -- a deputy who chased him is talking to us exclusively tonight saying he's lucky to be alive...
That chase spanned from Elmore to Tallapoosa county. It was a 12-mile high-speed-chase ending on Highway 63, just near Lake Martin. The patrol officer says the man they were pursuing was driving recklessly and was under the influence putting dozens of lives at risk.
"I've participated in several pursuits at this agency... But that by far was one of the most intense ones that I've been involved with personally," Said Elmore County deputy, Wesley Powell, who was riding behind the driver. Richard Wayne Williams is now behind bars with 11 charges against him including speeding, reckless driving and driving under the influence.
"What are they going to do next? What are they trying to do? Where are they trying to go? You don't have any clue," Said Powell.
All questions Powell had during the 12-minute pursuit. He says there were speeds more than 100 miles an hour -- all on county roads, as the car weaved in and out of traffic... Even slamming into the deputy's car multiple times, leaving more than $5,000 worth of damage.
"[The driver was] accelerating, then slamming on breaks. Repeatedly doing this over the milage that was going," Said Powell.
He says the chase lead to a graveyard in Tallapoosa County where Powell got out of the car to chase Williams on foot to a gravesite. Powell says Williams resisted the arrest, but when he was taken into custody Powell says investigators later found this knife just feet away from where they were.
Sheriff Bill Franklin says it's part of the drama that law enforcement officers face...unpredictable moments where officers never know if they'll be back to work the next day. But he's just thankful Powell came back to work with only scratches on him.
"When they do this, they're not only putting their lives at risk, but they're putting the law enforcement officer's life at risk and the other motors on the road," Said Franklin.
The officers are trained to go on pursuit, but Powell says every circumstance is different. And they have to go with their best judgement in order to keep civilians safe.
Williams also faces charges of criminal mischief, tampering with evidence, and driving under a suspended license.