East Brewton man dies in Friday crash

Published 6:30 pm Tuesday, February 21, 2023

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East Brewton Police Chief Kenny Brazile said a Friday night crash that claimed the life of David G. Emmons, 20, of East Brewton, occurred while an officer with his department was in pursuit of the suspect in an earlier incident. Brazile also said Emmons was wanted on active warrants from the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident that led to the pursuit began when a call of shots fired came into the department on Friday afternoon.

“Our office received a call about shots fired in the Lottie Lane area off Forrest Avenue Friday afternoon,” Brazile said. “When our officer responded, he searched the area for suspicious persons but was unable to locate anyone at that time.”

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Brazile said a second chance to find the suspect in the shooting call would present itself soon after.

“We later received a call of a man with a gun at a residence on Forrest Avenue,” Brazil said. “The responding officer spoke with the caller who identified Emmons as the person in possession of the gun.”

Brazile said the officer was able to make contact with Emmons who quickly fled from the scene on foot. A search of the area did not uncover Emmons’ whereabouts.

“Sometime later, we received a call that said Emmons had stolen a truck and was seen heading in the Daily Street direction,” Brazile said. “Our officer spotted the vehicle on Daily Street and witnessed the suspect turn onto Duncan Street, which is a dead-end.”

Brazile said the officer situated his patrol car across the street to prevent Emmons from fleeing the scene. Emmons drove the stolen vehicle through the yard of a residence and around the officer and fled the scene.

“After leaving the area, he turned onto Schad Street and turned onto Ridge Road,” Brazile said. “After turning onto Ridge Road, my officer followed in pursuit of Emmons. At one point, Emmons was traveling in excess of 100 miles per hour. At some point in the pursuit, the officer lost sight of Emmons but was able to regain sight of the vehicle just before the crash at May Creek.”

Brazile said, since the suspect was believed to be armed, the officer approached the vehicle with caution.

“When he saw Emmons was incoherent, he began to work to free him from the vehicle,” Brazile said. “With the assistance of a witness who lived near where the crash took place, both tried to free Emmons from the vehicle. The vehicle had already begun to burn and the fire forced the two away from the vehicle unable to free Emmons.”

As the vehicle burned, the officer stated that sounds from the burning vehicle would indicate the gun in possession of the suspect was exploding as a result of the high temperature in the fire.

Brazile said the officer did receive some minor injuries during his rescue efforts, but he was treated at the scene.

Troopers say Emmons was driving a 2009 Dodge 1500 pickup truck that left the roadway and struck a tree. The vehicle caught fire in the crash. Emmons was not using a seatbelt, according to Troopers. The crash occured at approximately 9:48 p.m.

On the scene following the crash were East Brewton Police, Escambia County Sheriff’s deputies, Alabama State Troopers, Escambia Rescue and several volunteers with the Ridge Road Volunteer Fire Department.

The Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) Highway Patrol Division says Troopers are continuing their investigation into the crash and have not released further details.