Stolen SUV suspect nabbed after two-county pursuit - - No One Gets You Closer

Stolen SUV suspect nabbed after two-county pursuit

Courtesy B. Hendrix Courtesy B. Hendrix

ARDMORE, Okla. -- The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a vehicle stolen in Gainesville, Texas crashed and burned in Ardmore late Saturday night after a pursuit spanning two counties.

Investigators said the driver of the 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe -- identified as 26-year-old Cody Ray Hinkle of Lexington, Oklahoma -- led police agencies on a high-speed chase that started in Love County.

Deputies said Hinkle was driving northbound in the southbound lanes of Interstate 35 for more than five miles before crashing into an overpass in Ardmore.

"There was no break in the cable barrier, so he jumped from the bridge, the overpass there onto State Highway 142 or Veterans Boulevard,"  Carter County Sheriff Chris Bryant said.

Hinkle's stolen SUV went airborne for more than 100 feet before hitting the bridge and erupting in flames.

Ardmore overpass where pursuit ended
The pursuit ended at the Interstate 35 overpass at Veterans Boulevard in Ardmore. (KTEN)

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Hayden Darst said it's fortunate this situation did not turn deadly.

"When you talk about driving five-plus miles into oncoming traffic with potentially 140 mile-an-hour collisions, it's a very dangerous situation, very volatile,"  Darst said. "He's very lucky he wasn't killed, and likewise with the other officers and people on the street below."

The trooper advises that if you see a high speed chase, don't try to interfere with the subject. Get to the right side of the road as soon as possible.

"Don't try to be a hero," Darst said. "Leave it to us. It's our job, and there's no sense in putting yourself in danger as well."

Hinkle suffered only has a broken ankle and was transported first to Mercy Hospital in Ardmore and and then was transferred to Medical City Plano. Charges are still being determined.

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