Man ends up in Chattanooga hospital after leading Alabama deputies on chase, crashing vehicle, apparently swallowing meth

Man ends up in Chattanooga hospital after leading Alabama deputies on chase, crashing vehicle, apparently swallowing meth

May 15th, 2019 by Ben Benton in Local Regional News

A man who led Jackson and DeKalb deputies on a two-county chase in Alabama is now hospitalized in Chattanooga after he told medical officials he had swallowed meth.

Billy Blake, 42, will have charges pending against him in Jackson County after he is released from the hospital, Jackson County Chief Deputy Rocky Harnen said Wednesday.

Harnen said a Jackson County deputy was attempting to make a traffic stop when the chase began around midnight late Monday/early Tuesday near the town of Dutton and the Jackson-DeKalb county line.

"DeKalb County had several units involved, too, and they ran him to Rainsville where he wrecked," Harnen said. When Blake wouldn't get out of the car, Harnen said, deputies forced their way in and removed him.

Since he'd been in a crash, Blake was transported by Jackson County officers to Highlands Medical Center in Scottsboro to make sure he was OK, Harnen said.

"Once he got there, he started showing symptoms of an overdose," Harnen said. A Jackson County deputy alerted hospital staff and Blake told officials at the Highland that he'd swallowed methamphetamine as his condition worsened.

"They ended up intubating him and taking him to Erlanger," he said. Harnen said Wednesday that he had not been able to learn Blake's condition.

Blake has not been formally charged in Jackson County in connection with the incident and won't be until he's released, Harnen said.

Blake has a prior criminal history of being arrested in connection with a school burglary in Flat Rock, Harnen said.

In DeKalb County, where the chase ended, sheriff's office spokesman Tyler Pruett said once Blake entered DeKalb County in his black Ford Mustang, he reached speeds of more than 100 mph, leading authorities south into Rainsville. The chase continued out into the county before returning to Rainsville where DeKalb County officers stopped him by blocking him in, he said.

Two patrol cars were damaged but no deputies were injured.

Officers seized a large, unspecified amount of cash from Blake's vehicle, Pruett said.

Blake also has a criminal history in DeKalb County involving a school break-in in Henagar and some storage unit burglaries in Fort Payne. He was on probation for those cases when the chase began, Pruett said.

He said Blake now will have new charges waiting for him DeKalb County.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton or at