(Update) 2 suspects charged after high-speed chase through Morgan, Cullman counties

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 Burt Anthony Williams, left; Tracy Don Winnett, right (Morgan County Sheriff’s Office)

LACON, Ala. – A high-speed chase originating in Morgan County after an attempted stop for a traffic violation Friday evening led authorities into Cullman County, where officers from the Cullman Police Department and Cullman County Sheriff’s Office joined in the pursuit. Alabama State Troopers were also involved. The pursuit ended after the suspects left Interstate 65 at Exit 318 at Lacon and crashed their vehicle.

The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) identified the driver of the vehicle as Burt Anthony Williams, 45, of Hartselle and the passenger as Tracy Don Winnett, 48, of Cullman.

The MCSO said Williams had three active felony warrants. He is now facing charges of attempting to elude, reckless endangerment, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest, as well as multiple traffic violations.

The MCSO said Winnett had active warrants with its department as well as the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office. He is now facing charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and tampering with physical evidence.

Additional charges are pending.

No officers or civilians were injured in the pursuit. The suspects sustained minor injuries in the crash but were treated at the scene.

According to Cullman Police Capt. Gene Bates, the suspects fled from Morgan County, down I-65 South. Once in Cullman County, they exited onto U.S. Highway 278 through Cullman, down West Main Avenue and into Good Hope, where they got back on I-65 North.

CPD Officer Rob Long deployed spike strips; however, the suspects avoided them and exited onto Exit 310 and went down Alabama Highway 157 to Hwy. 278, where they turned back and came through Cullman again, taking a left on U.S. Highway 31 to Cherokee Avenue and to Good Hope and back to I-65.

The spike system was deployed again by Long near Exit 308, and this time all four of the suspects’ tires were deflated. The vehicle continued north and lost its tires, running on rims.

Once at Exit 318, the suspects exited the interstate and wrecked as deputies with the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office were preparing to perform a pit maneuver to end the pursuit.

Bates said Friday night officers were recovering controlled substances that the suspects threw from the vehicle at various locations during the pursuit.

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Wendy Sack

wendy@cullmantribune.com