Two killed in Loudon crash following police chase

Two killed in Loudon crash following police chase

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A police chase ends in a crash, killing two people in Loudon County. A police chase ends in a crash, killing two people in Loudon County.
Timothy Hardwick (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Timothy Hardwick (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)
Travis Lay (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Travis Lay (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)
Johnathan Monday (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Johnathan Monday (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)

LOUDON (WATE) - Two men were killed and another was injured early Tuesday morning after a high speed chase with Loudon police.

Loudon police say the men were suspects in the robbery of Goodfellas convenience store on Highway 72 earlier in the evening. The robbers got away with approximately 174 cartons of Marlboro cigarettes worth $7,830, and four rolls of Skoal tobacco, worth $56.

The chase ended just after 1:00 a.m. when the suspects' pickup truck crashed on Highway 72 near Prospect Church Road. The Tennessee Highway Patrol says the driver lost control before the vehicle went off the road and rolled down an embankment.

The driver, Timothy Hardwick, 45, of Knoxville, and a passenger, Travis Lay, 32, of Alcoa, died at the scene of the wreck.

A second passenger, Johnathan Monday, 34, of Oak Ridge, was injured.

The chase started when Loudon police responded to a burglar alarm at Goodfellas Market on Highway 72. Officers recognized the Chevy pickup from two other robberies Sunday.

Goodfellas owner Jay Alawadi is restocking his shelves and having his businesses's door repaired. It's been robbed twice since Sunday.

"Sunday morning we received some calls on a couple of smash and grab burglaries to a couple of businesses here in town," said Loudon Police Sgt. Scott Newman. "During the course of that investigation, it was determined that we were looking for a small pickup truck that matched the description of the subjects this morning."

Officers tried to stop the vehicle Tuesday morning, but Hardwick didn't stop.

"The subjects fled and there was a small chase - approximately two miles - at that time, and then there was an accident," added Sgt. Newman.

That's when Hardwick and Lay were killed as the Chevy pickup overturned and rolled down an embankment.

According to the Loudon Police Department's pursuit policy, the officers played by the rules.

"It pertains to the traffic, the speeds of the vehicle, and the offense that the suspects had made, and our officers followed that policy to a T," added Sgt. Newman.

The store owner who has lost thousands as a result of these crimes says he doesn't know how to feel.

"I don't really know what to think. I'm sad for the people who don't have anything to do with it - their kinfolks," added Alawadi.

The survivor of the crash, Johnathan Monday, is listed in stable condition at UT Medical Center.

The owner of Goodfellas says he does plan on filing charges.

The Knox County Sheriff's Office says Hardwick had an extensive criminal history dating back to at least 1987, including charges of burglary, theft, forgery, drug possession, and shoplifting. Lay and Monday also have extensive records in Knox County.

6 News Reporter JESSA LEWIS contributed to this report.

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