Police Chase from Panhandle into Alabama Ends in Fatal Crash

DOTHAN, Ala. (AP) - A police chase on U.S. 231 that began in the Florida Panhandle ended in a collision Saturday in Dothan that killed a 66-year-old Pike County man.

James Williamson of Goshen was returning from visiting his wife in Marianna, Florida, when a truck chased by police collided with his car.

Police said 19-year-old Phillip Lutz of Maylene has been charged with murder in Williamson's death. He's being held without bond in the Houston County jail.

Lutz also has two felony warrants from Florida for eluding the police.

The chase began around 11 a.m. Saturday when a Jackson County, Florida deputy spotted Lutz's Ford Ranger truck speed away from a convenience store.

In Dothan, Houston County Chief Deputy Donald Valenza says Alabama authorities picked up the chase once Lutz crossed the border.

The collision occurred at the intersection of Saunders Road and Cottonwood Road in Dothan.

Two passengers in the truck, 21-year-old Tristan Goggins, and a 17-year-old, were treated for injuries.

Police said they found open and closed containers of alcohol in Lutz's truck

Williamson leaves a wife, two sons, five grandchildren, three sisters, a brother and his mother.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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  • by lisa Location: centreville on Apr 20, 2008 at 11:16 AM
    i think the cop is also to blame he should have stoped the chase and the one that bought the beer is to blame and the one who supposed to have been a sleep was not phillip is not the only one to blame and who ever wrote this is not a member of phillip lutz
  • by A Location: Lutz on Jul 31, 2007 at 05:17 AM
    First of all I cannot believe this is happening. Two families have been ruined because of Phillip's actions. Phillip does deserve what he gets and probably more for taking an innocent life, whether he meant to or not. But a million Phillip Lutz lives won't bring back or ease the pain of one James Williamson life. I wish it could and I'm sure Phillip wishes it would also. The Phillip I know was funny, smart, fun to be around, and good to talk to. When he drank, he became some other person...one no one knew. Some people want to blame his mom, when the truth is, she's worked hard from the time Phillip was young to try to get him help and straighten out and every time he'd start acting right he'd start hanging with the wrong people. This time, he's got no choice but to get help. I hope every day he spends behind bars he thinks of Mr. Williamson. I wish nothing but peace and express much sorrow to the family and friends of Mr. Williamson. I'm sorry one of my family members has done this.
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