Heflin police apprehended a woman Wednesday night and a man this morning after, police said, the two led officers on a high-speed chase from Heflin to Oxford.

Lakaria Renee Thomas, 25, was charged with drug trafficking, second-degree assault and several misdemeanors and traffic violations, according to Heflin police Chief A.J. Benefield. Police apprehended Phillip R. Harris around 11 a.m. today and charged him with second-degree assault, possession of a controlled substance and several misdemeanors and traffic violations.

Benefield told The Star by text message that officers tried to stop a car around 10 p.m. on Alabama 9 near the 199 exit of Interstate 20, but the car sped away and the driver began throwing pounds of drugs out a window.

Benefield said the driver drove the wrong way on I-20 to elude officers. During the chase, Benefield said, the suspects’ car struck a police car, injuring an officer. 

Benefield said the officer was taken to the emergency room at a nearby hospital for treatment. Benefield said later Thursday morning that the officer is expected to fully recover.

According to Benefield, the chase ended near the 188 mile marker, close to an exit ramp. Benefield said Thomas and Harris of the car ran away before Thomas was caught.

Benefield said early Thursday morning police were still searching for the man, who they identified as 25-year-old Phillip R. Harris. Benefield said Harris was caught in the woods near the 1000 block of Garrett Circle near Oxford.

Drug trafficking is a Class A felony. If convicted, Thomas could be sentenced to life in prison and ordered to pay as much as $60,000 in fines.

Contact Staff Writer Mia Kortright at 256-235-3563.

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