Teens lead law enforcement on 40-mile chase, drive wrong way on interstate

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A Mid-State crime spree began around 9 a.m. Tuesday morning at a Shell gas station in Dickson County. That’s where two teenagers from Memphis reportedly pulled a gun on the clerk and stole cash. 

The clerk was not injured, and the teens got away. 

Hours later, Williamson County deputies spotted the suspects’ vehicle on I-840 and gave chase. 

On dash camera footage obtained by News 2, you can hear the pursuing officer tells dispatch that the car passed him driving 94 mph. 

“He is running on me,” the deputy says.

Moments later, as you can see from the dash camera footage, the unthinkable happens. Officials say the number of dangerous actions made by the Memphis teen made is too numerous to count.

The driver, now identified as George McKinley, Jr., crosses the median into oncoming traffic.

He dipped into the median and then — going for broke — crosses the median and drives against oncoming traffic on I-40 for around seven miles. 

He takes off at high speed again with no regard for anyone driving the correct direction. The other drivers are then forced to contend with the fleeing vehicle going the wrong way on the interstate. 

Officials also told News 2, the suspect repeatedly passed tractor trailers using the shoulder or “break down” lane on the interstate. 

Williamson Co. deputies continue to follow the car to the county line. That’s where units from the 23rd Judicial Drug Task Force are waiting on I-40. 

When McKinley and his 17-year-old passenger blow by a task force officer, the chase reignites.

“I was terrified he would kill somebody or kill himself,” one of the lead officers told News 2’s Andy Cordan. 

In total, the pursuit lasts 40 miles and involved law enforcement from Tennessee Highway Patrol, Benton County, Humphreys County and Dickson County in addition to the Williamson Co. deputies that began the chase. 

“Good lord, don’t let him wreck or anyone else wreck,” one of the pursuing task officers says. 

At one point, an officer ahead of the chase pulls into the median, but there is little he can do as the suspects blow by him driving against the flow of traffic on I-40.

Finally, the 19-year-old suspect exits using the on-ramp at mile marker 133 in Benton County. 

Officers give chase, finally heading down a dirt road, and the suspect crashes into a dead end. 

The 17-year-old passenger is quickly apprehended after the crash. However, McKinley took off on foot — only to be captured a short distance away. 

“He was going down back roads, unfamiliar with them,” explains the judicial task force officer. “[He] went down one that was a dead end. and he hit the ditch.”

Officers asked McKinley why he didn’t stop. He reportedly told them he didn’t want to go back to jail. Well, that’s exactly where he is right now. 

McKinley was booked into the Dickson County Jail on a number of charges related to the chase. Officials say he’s facing additional charges related to the armed robbery in Dickson and gun violations after officers recovered evidence and a pistol from the vehicle. 

Not to mention, officials say, the 2010 Chevrolet Malibu he was driving was reported stolen during a robbery in Memphis on Monday. 

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