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Drug deal suspect dead after fleeing Anderson County deputies, jumping into pond

CLINTON, Tenn. (WATE) - A man is dead after led Anderson County deputies on a police chase, got out of the car and jumped into a pond.

The Anderson County Sheriff's Office says on Thursday around 11:45 p.m., narcotics investigators saw what looked like a drug deal between two people in vehicles in a business parking lot on N. Charles G. Seivers Boulevard in Clinton.

Deputies tried to stop both vehicles. One did stop, but the other took off onto Interstate 75. The driver, later identified as Ron Walker Austin, 41, threw something out the car window and eventually exited at Raccoon Valley Road, turning back into Anderson County. 

The chase kept going on several county roads until Austin stopped at a dead end on Nature Lane and Blockhouse Valley Road in Clinton.

The sheriff's office says Austin got out of the car, ran into the woods and jumped into a pond. He then appeared to be in distress. A deputy followed him into the pond, swam over and pulled him out of the water.

Austin was unresponsive. Deputies performed CPR until EMS and fire crews arrived. Paramedics could not revive Austin and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

An autopsy is scheduled at the Regional Forensic Center in Knoxville. Deputies aren't sure if is death was from drowning, drugs or some other problem.

Officers found suspected prescription narcotics in the first vehicle stopped at the scene. Deputies were unable to find whatever was thrown from the car onto the interstate.

Austin has a lengthy arrest history and was on state parole for methamphetamine charges and was on federal supervised release, also for meth charges.

The investigation is ongoing.

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