Home / Featured / Chase begins in Anderson, ends with fatal crash in Knox

Chase begins in Anderson, ends with fatal crash in Knox

A police chase that began in Anderson County Wednesday afternoon ended with a horrific two-car crash in North Knox County that left one man dead and three others injured.

The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department says that deputies had been looking for 26-year-old Ralpheal Cameron Coffey on several outstanding warrants when they spotted him driving a maroon Chevy Impala on Edgemoor Road in Claxton. When deputies tried to pull him over, Coffey fled at a high rate of speed, crossing Clinton Highway and continuing on to Raccoon Valley Road. The pursuing deputies lost sight of the Impala when it went under the railroad trestle on Raccoon Valley Road in Heiskell and terminated their pursuit when they could not find the car again. Anderson County authorities notified the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and the Tennessee Highway Patrol about the situation.

About five minutes after giving those agencies the heads-up, Knox County authorities notified the ACSD that the car had crashed into a Ford F150 pickup truck at the intersection of Central Avenue Pike and Callahan Drive. Both vehicles were totaled in the collision. Coffey and his passenger, 44-year-old Tommie Troupe, as well as the driver of the Ford 27–year-old Kevin Bradley and his passenger, 26-year-old Eric Kennedy, were transported to UT Medical Center with incapacitating injuries. Bradley was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Coffey has a lengthy arrest record in both Anderson and Knox Counties and was being sought by Anderson authorities on warrants out of Oak Ridge and Oliver Springs. The KCSO also says that Coffey has several outstanding warrants for his arrest there as well.

The KCSO said this morning that Coffey will face numerous criminal charges in connection to the pursuit and crash.  He is charged with vehicular homicide, drugs: manufacture, delivery, sale, or possession of cocaine in amounts greater than .5 grams (or less than .5 grams where defendant carried deadly weapon or the offense resulted in death or bodily injury), simple possession, and driving while privilege suspended.

Here is the KCSO press release:  

One man is dead following the crash that occurred yesterday afternoon on Central Avenue Pike. According to the initial investigation, 26-year-old Ralpheal Coffey was fleeing from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office in a 2007 maroon Chevy Impala when he almost struck an officer with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office in his cruiser around 2:30 p.m. on Heiskell Road. The officer turned the cruiser around to pursue Coffey, but found the Impala had crashed into a 2007 white Ford F150 on Central Avenue Pike at Callahan Drive.

Coffey and his passenger, 44-year-old Tommie Troupe, as well as the driver of the Ford 27–year-old Kevin Bradley and his passenger, 26-year-old Eric Kennedy, were transported to UT Medical Center with incapacitating injuries. Bradley was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Not only was Coffey wanted out of Anderson County, but he also had outstanding warrants in Knox County that include evading arrest; unlawful to refuse inspection and count of any wildlife taken; wildlife resources agency violation; license or permit required for hunting, fishing, and trapping;  and criminal impersonation. He has a criminal history in Knox County that includes multiple traffic offenses. He is charged with vehicular homicide, drugs: manufacture, delivery, sale, or possession of cocaine in amounts greater than .5 grams (or less than .5 grams where defendant carried deadly weapon or the offense resulted in death or bodily injury), simple possession, and driving while privilege suspended.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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