Chase ends in wreck with police cruiser; Adair man critically injured

An Adair County man hit two police vehicles during a chase across two counties late Wednesday, state police said in a news release.

The chase started after Mark Cromwell, a Russell County deputy, went to check a report about a motorist in need of assistance. He found Christopher P. Benham working on a 1990 GMC pickup truck that was sitting in the road, according to the news release.

While Cromwell checked the registration on the truck, Benham, who had given him a false name, got in the truck and drove off.

Cromwell found that Benham was wanted on charges of receiving stolen property and being a persistent felony offender.

As Cromwell chased Benham west on the Louie B. Nunn Cumberland Parkway, Benham crossed the median at times, driving on both sides of the divided highway, and hit Cromwell's cruiser, state police said.

Benham got off the parkway at Columbia and turned on Ky. 61, where Adair County Deputy Justin Claywell pulled in front of him to try to slow him down. Benham lost control of his truck, which hit the cruiser and then turned over, state police said.

Benham, 32, was flown to the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital. He was listed in critical but stable condition, state police said in a news release issued Thursday morning.

His wife, Jamie Benham, 31, who also was in the truck, was flown to University of Louisville Hospital for treatment.

The deputies were not injured.