August 10, 2017
Contact: Rick Gupman
TUPELO, MS: On August 3, 2017, two sport bike motorcyclists, who appeared in Federal Court in Columbia, Tennessee, were found guilty of reckless driving and fleeing from a law enforcement officer on the Natchez Trace Parkway (Parkway). After a year-long cooperative investigation with the U.S. Marshals Service, Parkway rangers filed charges against these offenders. Each offender must complete community service before the final sentencing hearing scheduled forSeptember 5, 2017.
“Each case started with what should have been a simple fine; instead, the offenders choose to risk their lives and the lives of others to flee from law enforcement,” stated Supervisory District Ranger Daniel Kimes. According to Kimes, two other violators who recently fled from law enforcement on sport bikes are scheduled to appear in state court for violations that also occurred on the Parkway. All of these incidents happened on the Parkway between Pinewood Road near Leipers Fork and Highway 100.
When motorcyclists flee from law enforcement, they put themselves and others at risk. Fleeing results in additional charges, increased fines, community service, and possible federal prison time. “Parkway rangers used enhanced technology and investigation techniques to apprehend these individuals, including high definition front and rear cameras that discern license plates at high speeds,” stated Acting Chief Ranger Rick Gupman. “The Parkway continues to partner with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office and the Metro Nashville Police Department’s aviation units to patrol this high-profile area. Reckless endangerment of Parkway visitors and employees in national parks is taken seriously by federal officers.”
The Parkway is a beautiful place this time of year and offers many recreational opportunities. Visitors are reminded that this is a national park – a byway not a highway. Park rangers and local law enforcement agencies continue to work diligently to keep the Parkway safe for everyone. If you see anyone operating a vehicle in an unsafe manner, please contact the Parkway Communications Center at (800) 300-7275.
About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.