Chapman Highway crash: Federal marshals say they have called off their pursuit of a Maryville man who died in a high-speed crash on Chapman Highway on Oct. 10 that killed him and his passenger.
Tyler Coy Smelcer, 30, and Ashley Marie Warren, 31, were killed when Smelcer crashed into several other people around 5:14 p.m. Killed by car. near Hendren Church Road before crashing into a utility pole, a Tennessee Highway Patrol report said.
Smelser fled from U.S. Marshals officers when they attempted to detain him, but they terminated the pursuit shortly before the crash, the U.S. Marshals Service said in a news release.
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Marshals with the Eastern District of Tennessee have been searching for Smelser since Sept. 12, the Marshals Service said, adding that he was wanted in Blount County for distribution of heroin.
On Oct. 10, Blount County U.S. Marshals Joint Task Force officers learned Smelcer would be at the Food City grocery store in Seymour and began surveillance of the store. They recognized Smelser in a car, but he managed to escape the initial restraints and fled the scene at a high rate of speed, the release said.
Law enforcement officers attempted to follow from a safe distance, but Smelser was driving erratically, so the “rolling surveillance” was terminated, the release said. They continued to search the area and found Smelser’s vehicle after the crash.
The highway patrol report said Smelser was traveling northbound in the southbound lane and was approaching the intersection at Hendron Chapel when he swerved to avoid another vehicle stopped at a traffic light and struck that vehicle. The car then hit a steel KUB utility pole.
Smelser’s car was split in half, with the front half parked in a Citgo parking lot west of Chapman Highway and the back half in the southbound lane, the report said. Smelser and Warren were not wearing seat belts and were ejected from the vehicle.
Marshals administered first aid, but Smelser died at the scene, the release said. Warren was taken to a local hospital, where he later died.
According to reports, two people in the hit car suffered minor injuries.
Court records show Smelser did not have a valid driver’s license because his license was suspended in 2021 for driving under the influence.