Georgia man killed after truck strikes rock, catches on fire in Gatlinburg

GATLINBURG (WATE) – Gatlinburg Police Department said a man was killed on Tuesday after a police chase in Gatlinburg.

James J. Marle, 26, of Georgia was killed when his truck crashed on Historic Nature Trail-Airport Road near Cherokee Orchard Road. Police said the Ford F-150 crashed after a high speed police chase and the truck was engulfed in flames.

Police said Marle’s truck pulled out of the parking lot of Old Dad’s General Store on the Parkway at a high rate of speed. Officers said they he was clocked on radar traveling 40 miles per hour in a 25 mile per hour speed zone.

Officers turned on their lights and siren to catch up with the truck. They said it was stopped in traffic behind another vehicle at the Light 8 at the Historic Nature Trail-Airport Road intersection.

When the light turned green and the vehicle in front of Marle’s truck turned right on to Historic Nature Trail-Airport Road, police said the truck crossed over oncoming traffic, passed the vehicle and sped away. Officers said they lost sight of the truck as it accelerated down the road.

A few minutes later the officer found the truck, which had struck a rock. Officers said they found weapons in the road that were flung from the vehicle after impact. An officer said he ran up to the vehicle and began hearing ammunition exploding from inside the vehicle due to the fire.

When Marle was removed from the vehicle, officers said they found a handgun in his waistband. When they checked the serial number it was listed as stolen from Chattanooga.

Marle was confirmed to be a convicted felon in Florida and Arizona.

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