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High-speed chase ends safely


Pursuit began in Corydon, ended in Washington County


April 11, 2012
A 20-minute, high-speed chase Friday morning, from Corydon to just north of Palmyra in Washington County, ended without major incident despite many close calls along the way.

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Jason Adamson of Charlie’s Towing in Corydon hooks up the Ford F-150 driven by Jeffrey Wayne Melvin, 20, of Palmyra, on Friday morning. Melvin led officers on a 20-minute, high-speed chase from Corydon to a residence north of Palmyra in Washington County. Photo by Ross Schulz
According to Capt. James Sadler of the Corydon Police Department, Jeffrey Wayne Melvin, 20, of Palmyra, was traveling north on S.R. 135 when he failed to stop for the traffic signal, which was red, at the intersection with Federal Drive at 9:45. Sadler, who was driving east on Federal, said the light was green for east-west traffic, when he saw Melvin run the light.

When Sadler attempted to make a traffic stop, Melvin continued north on 135.

Sadler pursued Melvin, who was driving a 1986 Ford F-150, from S.R. 135 to Sky Aire Road, where Melvin then headed west to Corydon-Ramsey Road then turned north until he reached Hancock Chapel Road. There, he turned east and made his way to Buffalo Trace Road then back to S.R. 135, where he headed north, going through Palmyra and into Washington County before he pulled into a private residence and struck a utility pole head-on. Melvin then fled on foot after officers yelled and gave verbal commands to stop. He was apprehended when Ross Rafferty, an investigator with the Harrison County Prosecutor's Office, physically restrained him.

During the course of the pursuit, Sadler said Melvin forced a vehicle off the road in Ramsey and caused it to strike the concrete side of a building. He also made "several bad passes on hills and curves" and exceeded the speed limit on Corydon-Ramsey Road by driving 80 miles per hour in a 40-mile-per-hour zone on several occasions. He also forced a tow truck off of the road on S.R. 135, Sadler said, and three others cars in Palmyra.

Besides Rafferty, other assisting officers included Corydon Police Chief Jim Kendall, Harrison County police officers Marty McClanahan, Eric Fischer and Lt. Roy Wiseman, Milltown and Lanesville town marshals Ray Saylor and Rusty Sizemore, respectively, the Washington County Sheriff's Department and Indiana conservation officers.

"A lot of people helped out at one point or another," Sadler said.

Sadler said his police cruiser, a Chevrolet Impala, was excellent during the chase.

"It's the best pursuit car I've ever been in," he said. "It kept right up with him."

Melvin's truck avoided "stop sticks" that police officers deployed near the railroad tracks on Corydon-Ramsey Road south of Ramsey by jumping the tracks.

Sadler said the only trouble his vehicle met was oil splattering on it from Melvin's truck.

An affidavit for probable cause said Melvin committed four offenses, including resisting law enforcement, criminal recklessness, reckless driving and aggressive driving.

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