Tennessee crash kills Tyler Smelcer, passenger after U.S. Marshals … – Knoxville News Sentinel

Federal marshals say they had stopped the pursuit of a Maryville man when he crashed his car at high speed on Chapman Highway Oct. 10, killing himself and his passenger.
Tyler Coy Smelcer, 30, and Ashley Marie Warren, 31, died after Smelcer hit several other vehicles around 5:14 p.m. near Hendron Chapel Road and then crashed into a utility pole, a report from the Tennessee Highway Patrol said.
Smelcer had fled from United States Marshals personnel when they attempted to detain him, but they had terminated their pursuit shortly before the crash happened, the U.S. Marshals Service office said in a press release.
Marshals from the Eastern Tennessee District had been looking for Smelcer since Sept. 12, the Marshals Service said, adding that he was wanted in Blount County for distribution of heroin.
On Oct. 10, Blount County U.S Marshals Joint Task Force officers learned Smelcer would be at the Food City grocery store in Seymour and began surveilling the store. They identified Smelcer in a vehicle, but he was able to evade initial attempts to confine him and fled the scene at high speed, the release said.
Marshals tried to follow at a safe distance but Smelcer was driving erratically, so “rolling surveillance” was terminated, the release said. They continued to search the area and found Smelcer’s vehicle after it crashed.
Smelcer was driving north in the southbound lanes approaching the intersection with Hendron Chapel when he swerved to avoid another vehicle that was stopped at a traffic light, struck that vehicle and then hit a steel KUB utility pole, the highway patrol report said.
Smelcer’s car split in half, with the front half ending up in the Citgo parking lot west of Chapman Highway and the rear landing in the southbound travel lanes, the report said. Smelcer and Warren, who were not wearing seatbelts, were ejected from the car.
The marshals rendered first aid but Smelcer died at the scene, the release said. Warren was taken to a local hospital, but subsequently died.
Two people in the vehicle that were hit sustained minor injuries, the report stated.
Smelcer did not have a valid driver’s license, as his license had been revoked in 2021 for driving under the influence, court records show.
Liz Kellar is a Tennessee Connect reporter. Email liz.kellar@knoxnews.com. Support strong local journalism by subscribing at knoxnews.com/subscribe

source