Man dies in crash while fleeing deputy

Published 5:24 pm Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Maplesville man died last week while fleeing from a Chilton County Sheriff’s Deputy, though Sheriff Kevin Davis said the deputy was not chasing him.

Clint Edward Smitherman, 49, wrecked about 3:30 p.m. May 1 on Chilton County Road 612, off County Road 17 in Maplesville.

Davis said 911 received a call about a domestic disturbance at a residence in the area. A deputy who was familiar with the area and the subject responded to the call but saw Smitherman’s vehicle approaching from the opposite direction.

“He recognizes it being him and turns his lights on, and the vehicle takes off,” Davis said. “[The deputy] turns around and tops the hill, and the vehicle is turned over.”

Emergency personnel responded to the wreck, and Smitherman, who was ejected, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The wreck is being investigated by Alabama State Troopers.

Davis said the deputy’s dashboard camera shows there was never contact between his vehicle and Smitherman’s vehicle.

“It’s a terrible, terrible tragedy,” Davis said.

Davis said Smitherman wrecked about 300-400 yards from where the deputy first spotted him and turned on his lights.