Chase that began in Mobile leads to I-10 shutdown, trucker standoff
JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (WPMI) —
Road rage erupted into a cross state path of destruction and a five hour long standoff Wednesday.
Police say the driver of an 18-wheeler, 33-year-old Michael Mack of Baton Rouge, plowed into an ambulance and three cars along the interstate in Alabama. Mack then barricaded himself in his truck with a machete for five hours.
From the crashes to Mack’s surrender there were no injuries.
The scare along the interstate started at a Pilot truck stop in Alabama. Mobile County Sheriff's Office says they were called to the truck stop for reports of a semi-truck that intentionally struck a Mobile County ambulance.
Along with the ambulance, MCSO received reports from three other drivers who were also hit by Mack’s 18-wheeler before he crossed state lines into Mississippi.
Driver Ricky Washington says he found himself in the midst of Mack’s reckless path.
“He ran me off the road. He came off the highway onto the grass,” Washington said, adding, “I’m thinking the truck was going to flip. He got off the highway, ran into cables, then he ran his car off the road. There was a black car - he ran her off the road.”
Deputies in Jackson County, Mississippi initiated a pursuit with Mack shortly after he crossed state lines on the interstate.
Master Sgt. Chase Elkins with Mississippi Highway Patrol says he was in the middle of another road rage situation with a driver in Mississippi when deputies went after him. Elkins said Mack didn't pull over right away, but when he did they noticed he had a machete.
“We didn’t know what his intentions were, what else he had in his vehicle, the unknown is what caused us to take so much caution,” Elkins said.
Both sides of the interstate were blocked off in Mississippi for hours. Witnesses counted at least 40 law enforcement officers surrounding the 18-wheeler.
Driver Tammy Ragsdale and her 80-year-old mother got caught behind the standoff for five hours on their way to bible study.
“We’re from a little town and it’s pretty crazy to see something like that going on. It was exciting, but it was scary,” Ragsdale said.
Mack didn’t surrender right away. He instead went into his car for five hours and negotiated with deputies on the phone.
“Ultimately, what we wanted to do is what we did,” Elkins said, adding, “We wanted to handle the situation without anyone injured. Sure, some people’s time was messed up throughout the day due to the diversion of traffic, however at the end of the day, we did exactly what we wanted to with him surrendering without incident.”
Mack is held without bond in Mississippi Wednesday night. Jackson County Sheriff’s Office charged him with one count of felony pursuit. MCSO charged Mack with two counts of second degree attempted assault, five counts of Reckless Endangerment and three counts of Criminal Mischief.