Suspect runs light, slams into truck, couple hurt
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
A Flomaton couple was seriously injured December 23 when an Atmore theft suspect, with two Atmore police units in pursuit, ran through a red light at the intersection of Main and Church streets and slammed into the couple’s pickup.
Joseph Allen Weese, 33, is charged with two counts of first-degree assault on the couple — Andy Moye, 62, who was driving, and his wife, 48-year-old Donna Theresa Glenn Moye — each of whom was eventually flown by medical evacuation helicopters to an unidentified regional trauma center.
According to Atmore Police Department reports, Weese was identified by store officials as a suspect in a retail theft that occurred at Walmart the previous day. When he returned to the store on December 23, police were again called.
“The day before (December 22), we had been out to Walmart in reference to a retail theft,” APD Chief Chuck Brooks said. “Before our officers got there, (Weese) had fled the area. The next day he comes back, and Walmart calls again.”
This time, Weese was still reportedly on store property when police arrived but was on his way out of the parking lot. The police chief said officers implemented full pursuit protocols, but only for a short while.
“When the officers responded, they spotted his vehicle (a white Chevrolet Avalanche) leaving,” Brooks said. “When they activated their blue lights to pull him over, he fled south. He fled so dangerously that officers terminated pursuit when they got into town. They still followed him, but not with their lights on.”
Witnesses have reported that the suspect and his pursuers were all traveling at a high rate of speed when the trio of vehicles came through the heart of town.
The traffic signal was red when the Avalanche neared the intersection of Main and Church. Weese reportedly plowed on through. The Moyes, who had reportedly just finished lunch at a local restaurant and were heading home, were traveling eastward on Church, with a green light at the intersection.
When Andy Moye entered the intersection, the Avalanche collided with the pickup on the driver’s side, sending it sliding onto the sidewalk. It came to rest virtually wedged between a utility pole and the wall of American Legion Post 90 headquarters.
Atmore Fire Department personnel arrived and wedged the truck’s door open so that the injured couple could be removed from the mangled mass.
“We had to pop the door, do a light extrication,” explained AFD Capt. Daniel “Buddy” Love.
Both victims were rushed by ambulance to Atmore Community Hospital, where they were stabilized before being flown to the trauma center.
Weese, meanwhile, tried unsuccessfully to make a break for it.
“When he hit that (truck), he tried to get out and run,” Brooks said. “Officers were able to quickly apprehend him.”
Main Street was closed for four hours — from its intersection with Nashville Avenue to Owens Street, at Burger King — while APD investigators, along with a cadre of Alabama State Troopers and State Bureau of Investigation agents using a drone, worked the crash scene.
Brooks shot down rumors that Andy Moye was fatally injured in the collision.
“They are both still in a medical facility, but neither is deceased,” he said.
Weese remained in the Escambia County Detention Center, without bond, as midweek approached.