MACON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A driver accused of running from police by breaking through barriers along a parade route in Macon County Friday is now facing a long list of charges.
News 2 has learned James Corum, 53, will be charged by both the Tennessee Highway Patrol and Lafayette Police Department following the incident.
Corum was running from local police on Sycamore Street during the Macon County Homecoming Parade, according to a preliminary report by THP.
Macon County Sheriff’s deputy Aaron Shipley used his SUV to stop Corum from hitting nearby students, teachers and spectators.
Shipley reportedly rammed into Corum in front of Central Elementary School.
Lafayette Police Department Sgt. Matthew Looper was the first officer to make contact with Corum. He tried to stop Corum with his patrol car before he got further down the road.
“I saw the vehicle coming and I didn’t have a whole lot of time to act so I tried to position my car in the roadway to block him and maybe force him to turn down another street away from that area. But he chose to just ram my vehicle instead,” Sgt. Looper said.
Sgt. Looper said the decision to stop the erratic driver with his patrol car was one he made in a split second.
“I didn’t know that he wasn’t purposely trying to come through there to try to run over somebody. So, all I know is we were going to do everything we could to try to stop him,” Sgt. Looper said. “It would have been horrific, no doubt about it. There would have been a lot of children hurt. I mean there were probably anywhere upwards of two to three hundred children lined up along that roadway before I come through there.”
Sgt. Looper said he doesn’t feel like a hero, just an officer doing his job. He was quick to pass credit to those who moved children out of the way and Deputy Shipley, whose car ended the chase.
“He’s the real hero in this whole situation. Had he not been there it would’ve been bad. I’m sure there would have been a lot of people hurt and we were very, very lucky and blessed that nothing happened.”
Both Shipley and Corum were sent to the hospital with injuries. The deputy will be okay. Corum was in stable condition; however, no one else was injured in the incident.
Corum will be charged by Lafayette police with two counts of aggravated vehicle assault, reckless endangerment, evading arrest and driving on a suspended license. Meanwhile, THP will charge him with driving on a suspended license, reckless driving, driving under the influence, not wearing a seatbelt and not having insurance or registration.
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Macon County School District said each school will be prepared to address counseling concerns this week.