(Updated) Police chase ends in wreck, 1 fatality, in south Cullman

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The victim Ellarea Dickson is pictured with her son, Sgt. John Dickson. (Morgan County Sheriff’s Office)
The victim Ellarea Dickson is pictured with her son, Sgt. John Dickson. (Morgan County Sheriff’s Office)

Updated at 6:34 p.m.

CULLMAN, Ala. – A Crane Hill woman was killed in south Cullman Friday morning when the vehicle she was driving was struck as a result of a high-speed police chase. Cullman County Coroner Jeremy Kilpatrick identified the victim as Ellarea Dickson, 77.  A social media post from the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office said the victim was the mother of Sgt. John Dickson.

The chase allegedly initiated in Hartselle and continued south on U.S. Highway 31 into Cullman where the crash happened in front of the Town Square Shopping Center near McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

According to a statement from the Hartselle Police Department, “On May 24, 2024, at about 07:35 am a Hartselle Patrol Officer was traveling south on Highway 31 near Crescent Drive. The officer was behind a vehicle turning left into a business. The officer heard the sound of squealing tires and observed a vehicle approaching from the rear at an excessive speed. The vehicle then swerved to the right lane almost striking another vehicle. The officer attempted to stop the vehicle, but the vehicle continued at a high rate of speed toward Falkville and out of the city limits of Hartselle. The officer determined not to pursue the vehicle further due to the excessive speed.

“The officer later discovered this same vehicle proceeded to Cullman and was involved in a wreck. The officer obtained the driver’s name and other identifying information and obtained a warrant for Attempted to Elude Police, a Class C Felony. The warrant is entered into NCIC and the suspect, Michael Ivy, age 39 of Middleton, Tennessee will be arrested following his release from the hospital.”

Officers from the Hartselle Police Department, Falkville Police Department, Cullman Police Department, Cullman County Sheriff’s Office and Alabama State Troopers were involved in the pursuit at different points.

According to a statement from the City of Cullman,“A high-speed chase was initiated in Hartselle this morning. The suspect was chased into Cullman County and then entered the city limits. Due to a high rate of speed in heavy traffic areas, Cullman Police Department joined in the pursuit. Officers observed him run multiple red lights and the suspect later collided with an innocent third party in front of Town Square Shopping Center. The crash resulted in one fatality and a second person transported with critical injuries. The suspect is in custody but was transported due to injuries sustained in the crash. The crash is under investigation and more details will follow.”

Kilpatrick said two other people involved in the crash were transported to an area hospital.

The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office posted, “Please join us in praying for Sgt John Dickson and his family in the tragic loss of his mother, who was killed by a reckless driver in Cullman earlier today. His niece, who was also in the vehicle, is currently in critical condition. Our team will continue to lift up, support and be there for Sgt Dickson in the hard days ahead. While we know “there’s nothing like a mother’s love,” we also know that “in the face of adversity, the bond of brotherhood grows stronger”!”

There is no official word yet on what additional charges Ivy my face once released from the hospital.

(12:50 p.m.) UPDATE: Cullman County Coroner Jeremy Kilpatrick has identified the victim as Ellarea Dickson, 77, of Crane Hill.

(10:14 a.m.) UPDATE: Statement from the City of Cullman

“A high-speed chase was initiated in Hartselle this morning. The suspect was chased into Cullman County and then entered the city limits. Due to a high rate of speed in heavy traffic areas, Cullman Police Department joined in the pursuit. Officers observed him run multiple red lights and the suspect later collided with an innocent third party in front of Town Square Shopping Center. The crash resulted in one fatality and a second person transported with critical injuries. The suspect is in custody but was transported due to injuries sustained in the crash. The crash is under investigation and more details will follow.”

(9:55 a.m.) UPDATE: According to Cullman County Coroner Jeremy Kilpatrick, one person has been confirmed deceased following this morning’s chase and wreck. Two others have been taken to an area hospital.

Original story:

CULLMAN, Ala. – The Cullman County Sheriff’s Office assisted multiple agencies with a vehicle pursuit earlier this morning.

The pursuit began in Hartselle and continued southbound into Cullman County where CCSO deputies became involved.

Hartselle PD, Falkville PD, Cullman PD and Alabama State Troopers also joined the pursuit.

CPD Chief David Nassetta said during this morning’s police vehicle pursuit, the suspect was chased into Cullman County and then entered the city limits. 

“Due to a high rate of speed in heavy traffic areas, Cullman Police Department joined in the pursuit,” Nassetta said. “Officers observed him run multiple red lights and the suspect later collided with an innocent third party in front of Town Square Shopping Center.” 

The crash resulted in one fatality and a second person transported with critical injuries, Nassetta said. 

The suspect is in custody but was transported due to injuries sustained in the crash. 

The fleeing vehicle ultimately wrecked in Cullman and involved multiple other vehicles.

The driver of the suspect vehicle is in custody.

Rescue services are currently on scene tending to the victims.

This continues to be an active scene and further information will be provided as it becomes available.

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