Deputies: Suspect thanks officers after vehicle pursuit

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

A 24-year-old Brierfield man is facing several charges after law enforcement officers said he led them on a multi-county vehicle pursuit and brief foot chase ending in Montevallo on June 16.

Nix

Nix

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office arrested Clayton Palmer Lee Nix, who lists an address on Limestone Parkway in Brierfield, on June 16 and charged him with reckless endangerment, attempt to elude police, resisting arrest, driving with a suspended license, driving without a tag and operating a vehicle without insurance.

The charges came after Nix allegedly fled Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office deputies in Center Point, and led then led officers on a chase through Vestavia Hills, Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster and Montevallo, according to JCSO Chief Deputy Randy Christian.

The pursuit began at about 4 p.m. when a JCSO sergeant attempted to stop Nix, who was driving a maroon Chevrolet Prizm without a tag, near the agency’s office in Center Point.

The suspect then allegedly fled deputies, “driving at high rates of speed at times,” “jumping a grass median” and “weaving in an out of traffic,” according to court documents.

JCSO deputies then pursued Nix from Interstate 59 in Roebuck to Interstate 459 through Hoover and Vestavia Hills. While Nix allegedly was driving in excess of the speed limit and weaving in and out of traffic, the pursuit speed “did not reach unsafe levels,” Christian said.

Nix then allegedly took Interstate 65 south, traveled through Pelham and got off at the U.S. 31 exit in Alabaster before turning onto Alabama 119 and traveling through downtown Montevallo.

The pursuit then turned right onto Alabama 25 and then turned onto Shelby County 139, where Nix’s car ran out of gas, allegedly causing him to abruptly turn into a driveway and into a small ditch.

After crashing the vehicle into the ditch, Nix allegedly fled officers on foot, and was apprehended a short time later. He suffered minor injuries when his vehicle struck the ditch, and was assessed by medics on the scene, according to court documents.

Officers discovered the vehicle’s steering column “had been broken in a manner consistent with stealing a car, though the vehicle had not been reported stolen,” Christian said.

“There were several power tools in the car that the suspect could not account for,” Christian said. “Investigators are attempting to locate the owners of the car as well as the tools. If the items are found to be stolen, the suspect will face additional charges.”

According to court documents, Nix allegedly stated “he had been awake for two-to-three days because of his drug use,” and “Thanked deputies for the job (they) had done in regards to his apprehension and apologized profusely for any inconvenience or putting anyone’s life in danger.”

In addition to JCSO deputies, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office deputies and police officers from Vestavia, Alabaster, Pelham and Montevallo were involved in the pursuit.

Nix was released from the Jefferson County Jail on bonds totaling $4,000 on June 17.