WAVE 3 News obtains dispatch calls from deadly police chase in Hardin County

Dispatch calls provides inside look at deadly police chase

ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (WAVE) - A police pursuit involving three agencies going after one car speeding through Meade and Hardin Counties ended in tragedy.

It only stopped when the suspect crashed into another car full of innocent teens, killing two of them.

WAVE 3 News obtained dispatch calls made on Oct. 20 by submitting open records requests. The calls give the perspective from the Meade County Sheriff’s Department and their calls back and forth to dispatch.

In the calls, you can hear what Meade County Deputy Brandon Casey was dealing with on that night. In a police report, Casey stated he approached a car that was on Down Home Lane. That car accelerated towards him and Deputy Casey said he swerved to avoid a head-on collision.

“Pickup truck fleeing from me now,” Casey said to dispatcher.

The car fleeing was driven by Shawn Welsh. Laura Neville was a passenger. Police said they were going down the Joe Prather.

In one of the calls you can hear the Meade County Dispatcher speaking to a supervisor about what was going down.

"Supervisor: What's he chasing for?

Casey is told to back off the chase since the pursuit is no longer in Meade County. That is their policy.

Officers from the other agencies, including Vine Grove and Radcliff police, assisted as the chase went through their area. Stop sticks were used but didn’t work. In one of the calls, Meade County Sheriff Butch Kerrick told the dispatcher what happened when Welsh was on 31W.

Sheriff Kerrick to dispatcher: “(Welsh) had went on the shoulder and floor boarded it. A car going across that intersection got on the drivers side, pushed the driver side over on the passenger. Two people made into one in the front seat of a Honda Civic. The SOB was wanted out of West Virginia and truck was stolen out of West Virginia.”

Welsh eventually crashed at 31W and Battle Training Road into a car full of teens who had just left a trick-or-treating event killing Jacob Barber, 18, and Katarina Peeters, 17. Two other teens in Barber’s car were seriously injured. Kentucky State Police said they are now in rehab and have a long road of recovery ahead of them.

Jacob Barber and Katarina Peeters
Jacob Barber and Katarina Peeters

KSP is still investigating the crash that ended the chase.

Meade County pursuit policy says they can pursue for a violent felony offense or use of force likely to cause death or serious physical injury. The policy also states that a pursuit shall be terminated when it enters an area where potential danger could occur. That is also the case in the other agencies policies.

The victims families said the path Welsh took, which ended up being about 21 miles, did clearly endanger the public. Welsh has been indicted on two counts of murder and is facing other charges.

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