COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Three people were killed in a crash following a pursuit that ended in Cookeville Tuesday morning.
The crash involving a pickup truck and sedan happened around 8 a.m. near the intersection of Willow Avenue and Interstate Drive.
Troopers with the Tennessee Highway Patrol was pursuing a 2020 Toyota Tacoma truck near the Monterey area on Interstate 40. The driver of the fleeing truck, later identified as 25-year-old Michael Don Shepherd, led troopers to an exit in Cookeville.
Shepherd’s speeding truck hit a vehicle carrying mother and two children, according to investigators, and all three in the vehicle died.
The family of the victims confirmed to News 2 that 24-year old Amanda Chatman and her 3 and 4-year-old sons were killed in the crash.
“She was a very loving and caring mother of three,” Chatman’s sister, Kelly Likens, told News 2. “She was a very hard worker and those kids loved their momma.”
Shepherd was arrested and charged with three counts of vehicular homicide and evading arrest. He was transported to the Putnam County Jail where he was booked and will be brought before the General Sessions Court to address a bond for the vehicular homicide charges on Wednesday.
Shepherd suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Police say Shepherd has a lengthy criminal history in multiple Tennessee counties including Davidson and Cheatham.
The crash remains under investigation by the Cookeville Police Department with the assistance of the Office of the District Attorney General. They ask if anyone witnessed the crash and has not yet spoken with police, to please call the Criminal Investigation Division of the Cookeville Police Department at 931-520-5372 or the main station at 931-526-2125.