According to The Knoxville News Sentinel, 25-year-old Brandon Parris came upon a police officer early Thursday and quickly turned around his sport utility vehicle to flee.
Police spokesman Darrell DeBusk said Officer Nicola Coplan turned around to follow Parris, but he wrecked his vehicle before a chase began.
"Officer Coplan had never activated her emergency equipment and had not caught up to the vehicle before it crashed," DeBusk said.
Police said Parris lost control and the SUV ran off the left side of the road. Parris overcorrected and the vehicle careened off the right side of the road, struck a utility pole and then a tree.
"The vehicle then flipped, striking another tree and finally coming to rest on its roof in the roadway," DeBusk said.
Parris was dead at the scene.
DeBusk said police were not after Parris, but had stopped another SUV in the same area. That driver got out and ran away on foot.
The unattended vehicle then rolled backward and struck the front of Officer Dan Roark’s cruiser, causing minor damage and no injury to the officer.
Police did not immediately know who drove the SUV that was abandoned by the driver who bailed out.
Records show Paris was on probation for running from police earlier.
___ Information from: The Knoxville News Sentinel.