Multiple agencies involved in high speed pursuit that ends in Adair with Columbia PD cruiser struck
A Columbia city police cruiser was struck after being hit by a driver fleeing from law enforcement Sunday morning. The pursuit began in Russell Springs and entered into Adair County around 5:40 a.m. Sunday. The maroon 2016 Altima was moving at speeds up to 120 mph, according to the Adair County Sheriff’s Department.
Deputy Sheriff Joey Keith joined in the pursuit near the Adair County line and City Police Officer Adam Cravens positioned his vehicle near the city limits of Columbia to block the road in hopes of stopping the driver from entering into the city limits.
The driver rammed Cravens’ car and continued on. While he did not immediately stop, his vehicle suffered heavy damage, which eventually forced him off the roadway and into an earth embankment about a quarter of a mile past the point of impact, just shy of the city limits.
The suspect fled on foot and a Russell Springs officer and Deputy Keith followed in pursuit. The subject at first disappeared in thick overgrowth but was apprehended around 40 minutes later by Deputy Sheriff Derek Padgett, who found the suspect hiding under a truck at MLS on Water Works Street about a half mile from where the foot chase started.
The suspect was taken into custody and released to the Russell Springs police department. Michael Nichols, 31, faces charges in Russell and Adair counties. In Adair County, he faces charges of wanton endangerment, 1st degree, of a police officer, for striking Cravens’ automobile with him inside; criminal mischief, 1st degree, for the severe damage to the police cruiser, and possession of methamphetamine, which police say was found on him when Deputy Padgett took him into custody.
Sheriff Josh Brockman, Columbia Chief Jason Cross and Russell Springs Police Chief Joe Michael Irvin were on the scene as well as multiple personnel from several agencies, including Adair EMS.