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Press Release

HCSO Involved in Early Morning Vehicle Pursuit into Georgia


Hamilton County, TN – Early this morning, at approximately 2:00 am, a Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Deputy observed a vehicle on Suck Creek Road near the 1400 block driving erratically and swerving across the middle lane. The deputy attempted to pull the vehicle over and the driver fled from officers. The vehicle continued on Suck Creek Road where it turned onto Signal Mountain Road and then headed towards Highway 27. The suspect vehicle reached Highway 27 where it temporarily headed north in the southbound lane until it made a U-turn and headed the opposite direction towards the Ridge Cut.

The pursuit continued and led deputies and subsequent law enforcement officers on a chase, swerving all over the highway at a high rate of speed towards I-75 South. As the suspect vehicle headed towards I-75 south, one of the vehicle’s front tires blew out and the vehicle continued traveling with a flat tire utilizing a rim. The suspect vehicle eventually got off I-75 at the Cloud Springs Road exit where it hit a HCSO patrol unit near the intersection of Lake View Drive. The officer was not injured and the suspect vehicle continued until officers made the decision to force the vehicle off the road in order to protect other motorists and law enforcement personnel. The vehicle went off the road, hit a ditch, flipped, and then caught on fire. Both the driver and the female passenger were taken out of the car and did not sustain any injuries.

The driver, Joshua Merciers (Born September 1990), and the passenger, Jamie Swafford (Born June 1996), were taken into custody and both have outstanding warrants and both will face additional charges in Georgia and Tennessee.

Several law enforcement agencies were involved in the pursuit including the HCSO, Georgia State Patrol, Fort Oglethorpe Police, Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office,

and East Ridge Police.

This is an active investigation and no further information is available at this time.

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Phone: (423) 209-7000