A high speed chase which started in Fulton County and involved deputies from Fulton and Sharp counties, Hardy Police and the Arkansas Highway Police ended on Fire Tower Road near Wirth when the driver, who authorities identified as Shane Shipp, 36, of Mammoth Spring, abandoned the vehicle.
The pursuit began after Mammoth Spring Chief of Police Mike Davis and Reserve Deputy Jim Griffin, who were riding together, initiated a traffic stop for careless driving at the tourist information center in Mammoth Spring, according to authorities.
Fulton County Deputy Scott Holloway said Davis had attempted to stop Shipp, who was crossing the center line repeatedly within a short distance, while he was heading south on Highway 63.
Instead of stopping, authorities said the driver increased his speed and led the officers on a chase.
"We worked with them (truck drivers) in the past," Holloway said, "We've got some good truckers. They're willing to help out any way they can."
According to authorities, the vehicle swerved in and out of traffic, causing oncoming traffic to use the shoulder of the road to avoid a collision. During the chase, the driver threw objects out the window, including a liquid-filled container which burst on the windshield of Chief Michael Davis' car, according to authorities.
The suspect then traveled down Fire Tower Road where the chase continued at speeds of 60 to 70 mph down the gravel road. Holloway said Shipp was flinging dust and debris at Davis' vehicle, as well as turning his headlights on and off in an attempt to evade him. Shipp got away from Davis the last time he turned his headlights off.
Davis said he made the decision to stay at a safe visual distance. The vehicle the officers were following then made a left turn into a driveway and behind a residence.
Davis was joined by Holloway, Griffin, Fulton and Sharp County deputies, and the Arkansas State Police assisted in the search.
Holloway found the vehicle three to four miles down Fire Tower Road. Holloway said Shipp had hidden the car between a cabin and a tractor. Holloway said Shipp abandoned the car and fled on foot.
He added that Shipp was probably familiar with the area.
"We have a pretty good idea where he might be," Holloway said.
When inventorying Shipp's vehicle numerous items were found that are used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, including several baggies and a vial that contained what appeared to be methamphetamine. A field test was conducted on one of the baggies and it tested positive for methamphetamine.
Fulton and Sharp County officers established a perimeter around the area and assisted in the search for Shipp.
As of press time he had not been located.
The vehicle was inventoried and impounded. Davis' police car suffered slight damage in the chase.
"With (Fulton County Sheriff) Walter Dillinger in charge, there's a zero tolerance toward narcotics in Fulton County," Holloway said.
The case has been turned over to the drug task force which will be handling the charges.