Police chase in Scott County ends in fatal crash, standoff, arrest in Lexington

jwarren@herald-leader.comJanuary 15, 2014 

A man suspected in a police chase that ended in a fatal crash on Georgetown Road Tuesday night was arrested Wednesday morning after an hours-long standoff with Lexington police.

Keenan McLaughlin, 21, of Lexington, was arrested just before 7 a.m. at a house on East Second Street.

Police said they think McLaughlin was fleeing from Scott County sheriff's deputies when his car collided with a vehicle driven by Luis Gonzalez, 62, of Georgetown. Gonzalez died in the crash on Georgetown Road at Kearney Road, according to the Fayette County coroner's office.

Police traced the driver to the East Second Street house after he allegedly ran from the wreck scene.

McLaughlin has been charged with drug trafficking and fleeing and evading police, Scott County Sheriff Tony Hampton said.

Hampton said the case began about 9 p.m. Tuesday as deputies from his office conducted an undercover drug investigation involving heroin. The investigation was near Lisle Road in southern Scott County.

Deputies arrested Gregory Baker, who is charged with trafficking in heroin, and he was taken to the Scott County jail, the sheriff said. However, a second person, whom police identified as McLaughlin, drove away, heading toward the Fayette County line on U.S. 25 (Georgetown Road).

A deputy was directed to stop the fleeing car so the driver could be arrested on a felony drug charge; it is the department's policy that deputies should give chase if they are dealing with a potential felony, Hampton said. The deputy followed the car into Fayette County.

The deputy involved had his emergency flashers on and was following the car at a distance, keeping its taillights in sight, Hampton said. The deputy "wasn't close enough to ascertain a license tag or anything like that," Hampton said. "The road was wet, and the suspect was going faster than the deputy."

The deputy was deciding whether to end the pursuit because of road conditions when the crash occurred, Hampton said. He said the chase lasted about a minute and a half.

After the crash, the deputy saw the driver running toward a rock quarry, Hampton said. He said the deputy gave up the chase in order to help people in the other car involved in the crash. In addition to Gonzalez, who died, at least one other person was injured, police said.

Lexington police then began searching for the driver, Roberts said, eventually using a helicopter and dogs.

Police Lt. Mark Brand said the search shifted to East Second Street about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, after officers received a tip that the suspect was at a house near Elm Tree Lane.

A man at that house refused to come outside. The standoff ended just before 7 a.m. without shots being fired, Brand said.

Staff writer Justin Madden contributed to this story.

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