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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