Suspect in deadly pursuit identified - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

Suspect in deadly pursuit identified

The Buick Roadmaster barely missed a tree.  But slamming into a drainage ditch was enough to kill its driver Wednesday afternoon.  32 year-old Gerald Cox of Memphis was pronounced dead on the scene.

"He was not wearing a seat-belt," says Shelby Co. Sheriff's Office spokesman Steve Shular.

Initially, deputies had no idea why Cox sped away from what was supposed to be a routine traffic stop.

"And he actually kind of veered over like he was going to pull over, but then he sped up and took off," explains Shular.

They say it's now clear why he ran.  Nearly a dozen baggies of marijuana were thrown out of his car in the seconds before it crashed along Egypt-Cantral Road.        

"We also made an initial search of the car and found more drugs in the car," says Shular.  "More marijuana in the car, as well as cash," he adds.

Our camera spotted multiple one hundred dollar bills lying in the ditch.  A little digging into his past reveals Gerald Cox did have a criminal record, including several prior drug arrests.

"Good ending," says one neighbor to the crash.

Some have little sympathy for a suspected drug dealer.

"Well, we'll leave that up to God," says Asia Dae.

Dae is not so callous.  However, she is glad deputies are trying to clean things up in her neighborhood.

"I just would hope my child would not have to grow up and be subjected to drug dealers and everything like that," says Dae.

She says she would have been satisfied seeing Gerald Cox in jail, rather than dead in a drainage ditch.

The deputy who initially chased Cox will be back on the job Thursday.  The sheriff's office says he followed protocol and would have suspended the chase if it had been along a busier stretch of road.

Click here to e-mail Jason Miles.

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